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Abstract

The European Union is attempting to have the protection of geographic indicators strengthened in the WTO. There may be sufficient rents and other benefits available to justify this strategy in the negotiations. To achieve its rent-seeking goals, however, the European Union needs allies at the negotiations. It has been courting developing countries by touting the benefits of geographic indicators for their products. For most products originating in developing countries, the opportunities for rents will first have to be created, a resource-intensive and problematic activity. Further, even if rents can be created in the short run, the forces of competition are likely to erode them. Scarce resources might be better utilized on other development strategies that are more likely to yield sustainable development.

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