Trade Liberalization and Institutional Constraints on Moves to Protectionism: Multilateralism vs. Regionalism

In this paper, two key questions are asked: why has the GATT/WTO worked in terms of multilateral tariff reduction and promotion of global trade, and to what extent will it act as a constraint on economic nationalism? To answer these two questions, three themes are laid out in the paper: first, the seminal economic model rationalizing the economic logic of the GATT/WTO is assessed; second, the perceived relevance of the GATT/WTO in a world of increasing regionalism is discussed; and third, the robustness of the GATT/WTO legal framework and dispute resolution mechanism is evaluated. The key conclusion of the paper is that the underlying economic logic of the GATT/WTO is still relevant, but that enforcement of the cooperative agreement will likely be placed under significant strain with threat of increased protection, and even a potential trade war.

Issue Date:
Dec 01 2017
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
F13; Q17

 Record created 2017-12-22, last modified 2018-01-22

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