Woori Lee, 30 June 2018

Participation in global value chains is a key element of the industrialisation strategies of developing nations. To date, most research has focused on goods and the manufacturing sector. This column explores the role of services in global value chains. Trade agreements that liberalise services are found to foster global value chain trade, especially for developing country exporters and those that allow service exports without local presence.

Gary Horlick, 31 January 2014

World-leading trade lawyer, Gary Horlick, talks to Viv Davies about the 2013 WTO Bali ministerial conference and the post-Bali agenda. Horlick discusses food security, agriculture and whether mega regional trade agreements pose a threat to the future of the WTO. They also discuss the potential benefits of the post-Bali agenda for developing countries and the ‘trade transforming’ effect of SMEs and the internet. The interview was recorded in January 2014.

Alejandro Jara, 25 January 2014

Alejandro Jara talks to Viv Davies about the 2013 WTO Bali ministerial conference and the recent Vox report, ‘Building on Bali’, co-edited with Simon Evenett. Jara presents his views on the post-Bali agenda, mega regional trade agreements and trade protectionism. They also discuss the extent to which the ‘global value chain revolution’ has changed the nature and focus of international trade and trade agreements. Jara concludes by presenting policy recommendations for the way forward. The interview was recorded in January 2014.

Richard Baldwin, 20 January 2014

The global value chain revolution has changed trade and trade agreements. Trade now matters for making goods as well as selling them. Trade governance has shifted away from the WTO towards megaregional agreements. This column argues that 21st-century regionalism is not fundamentally about discrimination, and that its benefits and costs are best thought of as network externalities and harmonisation costs respectively. More research is needed to determine how the megaregional trade agreements across the Pacific and Atlantic will fit with the WTO.

Richard Baldwin, 12 December 2013

The WTO signed a mini-package of trade initiatives in Bali last week. This column argues that the ‘Bali package’ is welcome but not enough. Without some new initiative or direction, the WTO looks set to drift for the next few years. The WTO cannot move ahead until the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic ‘mega-regionals’ are done or dead. In the meantime, the WTO should promote research and discussion on how 21st-century trade issues could be brought into the WTO when the time is ripe.

Christoph Moser, Andrew Rose, 08 June 2012

Why do trade negotiations take so long? The WTO’s Doha Round is into its 11th year and still far from completed. This column uses data on regional trade agreements to identify the determinants of how long it takes to conclude regional trade agreements. The findings are not good news for the chances of the Doha Round ending any time soon.

Andrew Rose, Christoph Moser, 09 October 2011

Who benefits from regional trade agreements? This column uses stock-market reactions to news about trade deals to argue that "natural" trading partners and poor economies benefit from such agreements.

Christoph Moser, Andrew Rose, 12 September 2011

How the costs and benefits of regional trade agreements are distributed is a controversial question among economists. CEPR DP8566 analyses the stock market response to a country's signing of an RTA. The authors find that the biggest 'bounce' occurs in a country's stock market when it signs an RTA with an already-strong trading partner, or when the country is poor.

Caroline Freund, Emanuel Ornelas, 02 June 2010

Regional trade agreements have spread rapidly throughout the world since the early 1990s. This column surveys the latest theoretical and empirical research on regionalism, asking whether we should celebrate or be concerned about this trend. It concludes that although countries should approach regionalism with care, such agreements have been more of a blessing than a burden.

Antoni Estevadeordal, Caroline Freund, Emanuel Ornelas, 25 July 2008

Multilateral liberalisation is moving at a glacier pace while regionalism spreads like wildfire. Recent research suggests that at least in Latin America, regional tariff cutting induced a faster decline in external tariffs, but regionalism is more helpful precisely in the sectors where the multilateral system works best.

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East Asia is the world’s most dynamic region in terms of the growth of incomes, trade and foreign direct investment. It is also experiencing a rapid growth the number of regional trade agreements. Although the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has emerged as the de facto integration hub for FTAs, the lattice of trade agreements is highly complex – a veritable noodle bowl for agreements. How can East Asia ensure that the region’s noodle bowl of FTAs can be consolidated into a single East Asian FTA—a stepping stone toward global integration?
This conference, sponsored by the Asian Development Bank Institute and the Graduate Institute (Geneva)'s Centre for Trade and Economic Integration considers the way forward for "taming the tangle" of trade arrangements in Asia.

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