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Official estimates tend to overstate the benefits of trade facilitation and ignore its costs. When all underlying assumptions are brought to light, expecting large gains appears unreasonable. At the same time, estimated employment benefits may easily turn into net losses. With fundamental uncertainty surrounding its effects, implementing trade facilitation without enhancing systems of social protection would be ill advised. Indeed, the net effect of trade facilitation may depend on the social policies it is complemented with. While trade facilitation may bring extra business to import-export firms, it is not a feasible or sustainable growth strategy for all countries and it cannot be expected to deliver growth to the global economy.


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