Ingo Borchert, Paola Conconi, Mattia Di Ubaldo, Cristina Herghelegiu, 05 May 2020

The EU often conditions preferential access to its market on the achievement of non-trade policy objectives such as sustainable development, human rights, and good governance. This column studies the evolution of such objectives in EU trade agreements and Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) schemes over time, and reveals the legal and economic limitations of imposing conditionalities in trade agreements compared to the GSP. The findings suggest that if the EU wishes to rely more on trade policy to promote such objectives, it should focus on GSP programmes.

Emanuel Ornelas, Marcos Ritel, 08 November 2018

Generalised System of Preferences programmes, a form of nonreciprocal tariff cuts, have proliferated since the 1970s. Using a well-documented dataset of international trade agreements, this column studies the effectiveness of the system on beneficiaries’ aggregate exports. It finds that nonreciprocal tariff preferences can have a strong positive effect on the exports of least-developed countries, provided that they are WTO members. Conversely, other developing economies enjoying nonreciprocal preferences are able to increase exports only if they are not WTO members. 

Javier López González, Michael Gasiorek, 30 July 2011

The EU is redesigning its rules on preferential trade access for developing and emerging economies. This column outlines the likely winners and losers and argues that in order to help developing countries integrate into the world economy much more creative policies are needed.

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