Lecture notes on Advanced International Economics

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International Economics: Theory and Policy Chapter 1 Introductory Trade Issues: History, Institutions, and Legal Framework Economics is a social science whose purpose is to understand the workings of the real-world economy. An economy is something that no one person can observe in its entirety. We are all a part of the economy, we all buy and sell things daily, but we cannot observe all parts and aspects of an economy at any one time. For this reason, economists build mathematical models, or theories, meant to describe different aspects of the real world. For some students, economics seems to be all about these models and theories, these abstract equations and diagrams. However, in actuality, economics is about the real world, the world we all live in. For this reason, it is important in any economics course to describe the conditions in the real world before diving into the theory intended to explain them. In this case, in a textbook about international trade, it is very useful for a student to know some of the policy issues, the controversies, the discussions, and the history of international trade. This first chapter provides an overview of the real world with respect to international trade. It explains not only where we are now but also where we have been and why things changed along the way. It describes current trade laws and institutions and explains why they have been implemented. With this overview about international trade in the real world in mind, a student can better understand why the theories and models in the later chapters are being developed. This chapter lays the groundwork for everything else that follows. 1.1 The International Economy and International Economics L E A R N I N G O B JE C T I V E S 1. Learn past trends in international trade and foreign investment. 2. Learn the distinction between international trade and international finance. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 2 International economics is growing in importance as a field of study because of the rapid integration of international economic markets. Increasingly, businesses, consumers, and governments realize that their lives are affected not only by what goes on in their own town, state, or country but also by what is happening around the world. Consumers can walk into their local shops today and buy goods and services from all over the world. Local businesses must compete with these foreign products. However, many of these same businesses also have new opportunities to expand their markets by selling to a multitude of consumers in other countries. The advance of telecommunications is also rapidly reducing the cost of providing services internationally, while the Internet will assuredly change the nature of many products and services as it expands markets even further. One simple way to see the rising importance of international economics is to look at the growth of exports in the world during the past fifty or more years. Figure shows the overall annual exports measured in billions of U.S. dollars from 1948 to 2008. Recognizing that one country’s exports are another country’s imports, one can see the exponential growth in outflows and inflows during the past fifty years. Figure 1.1 World Exports, 1948–2008 (in Billions of U.S. Dollars) Source: World Trade Organization, International trade and tariff data, http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/statis_e.htm. However, rapid growth in the value of exports does not necessarily indicate that trade is becoming more important. A better method is to look at the share of traded goods in relation to the size of the world economy. Figure 1.2 "World Exports, 1970–2008 (Percentage of World GDP)" shows world exports as a percentage of the world gross domestic product (GDP) for the years 1970 to 2008. It shows a steady increase in trade as a share of the size of the world economy. World Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 3 exports grew from just over 10 percent of the GDP in 1970 to over 30 percent by 2008. Thus trade is not only rising rapidly in absolute terms; it is becoming relatively more important too. Figure 1.2 World Exports, 1970–2008 (Percentage of World GDP) Source: IMF World Economic Outlook Database,http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/index.aspx. One other indicator of world interconnectedness can be seen in changes in the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI is foreign ownership of productive activities and thus is another way in which foreign economic influence can affect a country. Figure 1.3 "World Inward FDI Stocks, 1980– 2007 (Percentage of World GDP)" shows the stock, or the sum total value, of FDI around the world taken as a percentage of the world GDP between 1980 and 2007. It gives an indication of the importance of foreign ownership and influence around the world. As can be seen, the share of FDI has grown dramatically from around 5 percent of the world GDP in 1980 to over 25 percent of the GDP just twenty-five years later. Figure 1.3 World Inward FDI Stocks, 1980–2007 (Percentage of World GDP) Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 4 Source: IMF World Economic Outlook Database,http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/index.aspx; UNCTAD, FDI Statistics: Division on Investment and Enterprise,http://www.unctad.org/Templates/Page.asp?intItemID=4979&lang=1. The growth of international trade and investment has been stimulated partly by the steady decline of trade barriers since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the post–World War II era, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, prompted regular negotiations among a growing body of members to reciprocally reduce tariffs (import taxes) on imported goods. During each of these regular negotiations (eight of these rounds were completed between 1948 and 1994), countries promised to reduce their tariffs on imports in exchange for concessions—that means tariffs reductions—by other GATT members. When the Uruguay Round, the most recently completed round, was finalized in 1994, the member countries succeeded in extending the agreement to include liberalization promises in a much larger sphere of influence. Now countries not only would lower tariffs on goods trade but also would begin to liberalize the agriculture and services markets. They would eliminate the many quota systems—like the multifiber agreement in clothing—that had sprouted up in previous decades. And they would agree to adhere to certain minimum standards to protect intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was created to manage this system of new agreements, to provide a forum for regular discussion of trade matters, and to implement a well-defined process for settling trade disputes that might arise among countries. As of 2009, 153 countries were members of the WTO “trade liberalization club,” and many more countries were still negotiating entry. As the club grows to include more members—and if the latest round of trade liberalization talks, called the Doha Round, concludes with an agreement—world 1 markets will become increasingly open to trade and investment. Another international push for trade liberalization has come in the form of regional free trade agreements. Over two hundred regional trade agreements around the world have been notified, or announced, to the WTO. Many countries have negotiated these agreements with neighboring countries or major trading partners to promote even faster trade liberalization. In part, these have Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 5 arisen because of the slow, plodding pace of liberalization under the GATT/WTO. In part, the regional trade agreements have occurred because countries have wished to promote interdependence and connectedness with important economic or strategic trade partners. In any case, the phenomenon serves to open international markets even further than achieved in the WTO. These changes in economic patterns and the trend toward ever-increasing openness are an important aspect of the more exhaustive phenomenon known as globalization. Globalization more formally refers to the economic, social, cultural, or environmental changes that tend to interconnect peoples around the world. Since the economic aspects of globalization are certainly the most pervasive of these changes, it is increasingly important to understand the implications of a global marketplace on consumers, businesses, and governments. That is where the study of international economics begins. What Is International Economics? International economics is a field of study that assesses the implications of international trade, international investment, and international borrowing and lending. There are two broad subfields within the discipline: international trade and international finance. International trade is a field in economics that applies microeconomic models to help understand the international economy. Its content includes basic supply-and-demand analysis of international markets; firm and consumer behavior; perfectly competitive, oligopolistic, and monopolistic market structures; and the effects of market distortions. The typical course describes economic relationships among consumers, firms, factory owners, and the government. The objective of an international trade course is to understand the effects of international trade on individuals and businesses and the effects of changes in trade policies and other economic conditions. The course develops arguments that support a free trade policy as well as arguments that support various types of protectionist policies. By the end of the course, students should better understand the centuries- old controversy between free trade and protectionism. International finance applies macroeconomic models to help understand the international economy. Its focus is on the interrelationships among aggregate economic variables such as GDP, unemployment rates, inflation rates, trade balances, exchange rates, interest rates, and so on. This field expands basic macroeconomics to include international exchanges. Its focus is on the significance of trade imbalances, Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 6 the determinants of exchange rates, and the aggregate effects of government monetary and fiscal policies. The pros and cons of fixed versus floating exchange rate systems are among the important issues addressed. This international trade textbook begins in this chapter by discussing current and past issues and controversies relating to microeconomic trends and policies. We will highlight past trends both in implementing policies that restrict trade and in forging agreements to reduce trade barriers. It is these real-world issues that make the theory of international trade worth studying. K E Y T A K E A W A Y S  International trade and investment flows have grown dramatically and consistently during the past half century.  International trade is a field in economics that applies microeconomic models to help understand the international economy.  International finance focuses on the interrelationships among aggregate economic variables such as GDP, unemployment, inflation, trade balances, exchange rates, and so on. E X E R C I S E 1. Jeopardy Questions. As in the popular television game show, you are given an answer to a question and you must respond with the question. For example, if the answer is “a tax on imports,” then the correct question is “What is a tariff?” a. The approximate share of world exports as a percentage of world GDP in 2008. b. The approximate share of world foreign direct investment as a percentage of world GDP in 1980. c. The number of countries that were members of the WTO in 2009. d. This branch of international economics applies microeconomic models to understand the international economy. e. This branch of international economics applies macroeconomic models to understand the international economy. 1 Note that the Doha Round of discussions was begun in 2001 and remains uncompleted as of 2009. 1.2 Understanding Tariffs L E A R N I N G O B JE C T I V E S 1. Learn the different methods used to assess a tariff. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 7 2. Measure, interpret, and compare average tariffs around the world. The most common way to protect one’s economy from import competition is to implement a tariff: a tax on imports. Generally speaking, a tariff is any tax or fee collected by a government. Sometimes the term “tariff” is used in a nontrade context, as in railroad tariffs. However, the term is much more commonly used to refer to a tax on imported goods. Tariffs have been applied by countries for centuries and have been one of the most common methods used to collect revenue for governments. Largely this is because it is relatively simple to place customs officials at the border of a country and collect a fee on goods that enter. Administratively, a tariff is probably one of the easiest taxes to collect. (Of course, high tariffs may induce smuggling of goods through nontraditional entry points, but we will ignore that problem here.) Tariffs are worth defining early in an international trade course since changes in tariffs represent the primary way in which countries either liberalize trade or protect their economies. It isn’t the only way, though, since countries also implement subsidies, quotas, and other types of regulations that can affect trade flows between countries. These other methods will be defined and discussed later, but for now it suffices to understand tariffs since they still represent the basic policy affecting international trade patterns. When people talk about trade liberalization, they generally mean reducing the tariffs on imported goods, thereby allowing the products to enter at lower cost. Since lowering the cost of trade makes it more profitable, it will make trade freer. A complete elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade is what economists and others mean by free trade. In contrast, any increase in tariffs is referred to as protection, or protectionism. Because tariffs raise the cost of importing products from abroad but not from domestic firms, they have the effect of protecting the domestic firms that compete with imported products. These domestic firms are called import competitors. There are two basic ways in which tariffs may be levied: specific tariffs and ad valorem tariffs. A specific tariff is levied as a fixed charge per unit of imports. For example, the U.S. government levies a 0.51 specific tariff on every wristwatch imported into the United States. Thus, if one thousand watches are imported, the U.S. government collects 510 in tariff revenue. In this case, 510 is collected whether the watch is a 40 Swatch or a 5,000 Rolex. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 8 An ad valorem tariff is levied as a fixed percentage of the value of the commodity imported. “Ad valorem” is Latin for “on value” or “in proportion to the value.” The United States currently levies a 2.5 percent ad valorem tariff on imported automobiles. Thus, if 100,000 worth of automobiles are imported, the U.S. government collects 2,500 in tariff revenue. In this case, 2,500 is collected whether two 50,000 BMWs or ten 10,000 Hyundais are imported. Occasionally, both a specific and an ad valorem tariff are levied on the same product simultaneously. This is known as a two-part tariff. For example, wristwatches imported into the United States face the 0.51 specific tariff as well as a 6.25 percent ad valorem tariff on the case and the strap and a 5.3 percent ad valorem tariff on the battery. Perhaps this should be called a three- part tariff As the above examples suggest, different tariffs are generally applied to different commodities. Governments rarely apply the same tariff to all goods and services imported into the country. Several countries prove the exception, though. For example, Chile levies a 6 percent tariff on every imported good, regardless of the category. Similarly, the United Arab Emirates sets a 5 percent tariff on almost all items, while Bolivia levies tariffs either at 0 percent, 2.5 percent, 5 percent, 7.5 percent, or 10 percent. Nonetheless, simple and constant tariffs such as these are uncommon. Thus, instead of one tariff rate, countries have a tariff schedule that specifies the tariff collected on every particular good and service. In the United States, the tariff schedule is called the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States. The commodity classifications are based on the international Harmonized Commodity Coding and Classification System (or the Harmonized System) established by the World Customs Organization. Tariff rates for selected products in the United States in 2009 are available in Chapter, Section 1.8 "Appendix A: Selected U.S. Tariffs—2009". Measuring Protectionism: Average Tariff Rates around the World One method used to measure the degree of protectionism within an economy is the average tariff rate. Since tariffs generally reduce imports of foreign products, the higher the tariff, the greater the protection afforded to the country’s import-competing industries. At one time, tariffs were perhaps the most commonly applied trade policy. Many countries used tariffs as a primary source of funds for their Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 9 government budgets. However, as trade liberalization advanced in the second half of the twentieth century, many other types of nontariff barriers became more prominent. Table 1.1 "Average Tariffs in Selected Countries (2009)" provides a list of average tariff rates in selected countries around the world. These rates were calculated as the simple average tariff across more than five thousand product categories in each country’s applied tariff schedule located on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Web site. The countries are ordered by highest to lowest per capita income. Table 1.1 Average Tariffs in Selected Countries (2009) Average Tariff Rates Country (%) United States 3.6 Canada 3.6 European Community (EC) 4.3 Japan 3.1 South Korea 11.3 Mexico 12.5 Chile 6.0 (uniform) Argentina 11.2 Brazil 13.6 Thailand 9.1 China 9.95 Egypt 17.0 Philippines 6.3 India 15.0 Kenya 12.7 Ghana 13.1 Generally speaking, average tariff rates are less than 20 percent in most countries, although they are often quite a bit higher for agricultural commodities. In the most developed countries, average tariffs are less than 10 percent and often less than 5 percent. On average, less-developed countries maintain higher Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 10 tariff barriers, but many countries that have recently joined the WTO have reduced their tariffs substantially to gain entry. Problems Using Average Tariffs as a Measure of Protection The first problem with using average tariffs as a measure of protection in a country is that there are several different ways to calculate an average tariff rate, and each method can give a very different impression about the level of protection. The tariffs in Table 1.1 "Average Tariffs in Selected Countries (2009)" are calculated as a simple average. To calculate this rate, one simply adds up all the tariff rates and divides by the number of import categories. One problem with this method arises if a country has most of its trade in a few categories with zero tariffs but has high tariffs in many categories it would never find advantageous to import. In this case, the average tariff may overstate the degree of protection in the economy. This problem can be avoided, to a certain extent, if one calculates the trade-weighted average tariff. This measure weighs each tariff by the share of total imports in that import category. Thus, if a country has most of its imports in a category with very low tariffs but has many import categories with high tariffs and virtually no imports, then the trade-weighted average tariff would indicate a low level of protection. The simple way to calculate a trade-weighted average tariff rate is to divide the total tariff revenue by the total value of imports. Since these data are regularly reported by many countries, this is a common way to report average tariffs. To illustrate the difference, the United States is listed in Table with a simple average tariff of 3.6 percent. However, in 2008 the U.S. tariff revenue collected came to 29.2 billion from imports of goods totaling 2,126 billion, meaning that the U.S. trade-weighted average tariff was a mere 1.4 percent. Nonetheless, the trade-weighted average tariff is not without flaws. For example, suppose a country has relatively little trade because it has prohibitive tariffs (i.e., tariffs set so high as to eliminate imports) in many import categories. If it has some trade in a few import categories with relatively low tariffs, then the trade-weighted average tariff would be relatively low. After all, there would be no tariff revenue in the categories with prohibitive tariffs. In this case, a low average tariff could be reported for a highly protectionist country. Also, in this case, the simple average tariff would register as a higher average tariff and might be a better indicator of the level of protection in the economy. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 11 Of course, the best way to overstate the degree of protection is to use the average tariff rate on dutiable imports. This alternative measure, which is sometimes reported, only considers categories in which a tariff is actually levied and ignores all categories in which the tariff is set to zero. Since many countries today have many categories of goods with zero tariffs applied, this measure would give a higher estimate of average tariffs than most of the other measures. The second major problem with using average tariff rates to measure the degree of protection is that tariffs are not the only trade policy used by countries. Countries also implement quotas, import licenses, voluntary export restraints, export taxes, export subsidies, government procurement policies, domestic content rules, and much more. In addition, there are a variety of domestic regulations that, for large economies at least, can and do have an impact on trade flows. None of these regulations, restrictions, or impediments to trade, affecting both imports and exports, would be captured using any of the average tariff measures. Nevertheless, these nontariff barriers can have a much greater effect on trade flows than tariffs themselves. K E Y T A K E A W A Y S  Specific tariffs are assessed as a money charge per unit of the imported good.  Ad valorem tariffs are assessed as a percentage of the value of the imported good.  Average tariffs can be measured as a simple average across product categories or can be weighted by the level of imports.  Although average tariffs are used to measure the degree of protection or openness of a country, neither measure is best because each measure has unique problems.  In general, average tariffs are higher in developing countries and lower in developed countries. E X E R C I S E S 1. Jeopardy Questions. As in the popular television game show, you are given an answer to a question and you must respond with the question. For example, if the answer is “a tax on imports,” then the correct question is “What is a tariff?” a. A type of tariff assessed as a percentage of the value of the imported good (e.g., 12 percent of the value of apples). b. A type of tariff assessed as a fixed money charge per unit of imports (e.g., 0.35 per pound of apples). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 12 c. Of increase or decrease, this is how tariffs would be changed if a country is liberalizing trade. Calculate the amount of tariff revenue collected if a 7 percent ad valorem tariff is assessed on ten auto imports with the autos valued at 20,000 each. Calculate the amount of tariff revenue collected if a 500 specific tariff is assessed on ten auto imports with the autos valued at 20,000 each. a. What would the ad valorem tariff rate have to be to collect the same amount of tariff revenue? Calculate the trade-weighted average tariff if a country has annual goods imports of 157 billion and annual tariff revenue of 13.7 billion. 1.3 Recent Trade Controversies L E A R N I N G O B JE C T I V E S 1. Identify some of the ways the world has stepped closer to free trade recently. 2. Identify some of the ways the world has stepped further from free trade recently. In the spring of 2009, the world was in the midst of the largest economic downturn since the early 1980s. Economic production was falling and unemployment was rising. International trade had fallen substantially everywhere in the world, while investment both domestically and internationally dried up. The source of these problems was the bursting of a real estate bubble. Bubbles are fairly common in both real estate and stock markets. A bubble describes a steady and persistent increase in prices in a market—in this case, in the real estate markets in the United States and abroad. When bubbles are developing, many market observers argue that the prices are reflective of true values despite a sharp and unexpected increase. These justifications fool many people into buying the products in the hope that the prices will continue to rise and generate a profit. When the bubble bursts, the demand driving the price increases ceases and a large number of participants begin to sell off their product to realize their profit. When this occurs, prices quickly plummet. The dramatic drop in real estate prices in the United States in 2007 and 2008 left many financial institutions near bankruptcy. These financial market instabilities finally spilled over into the real sector (i.e., the sector where goods and services are produced), contributing not only to a Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 13 world recession but also to a new popular attitude that capitalism and free markets may not be working very well. This attitude change may fuel the antiglobalization sentiments that were growing during the previous decade. As the current economic crisis unfolded, there were numerous suggestions about similarities between this recession and the Great Depression in the 1930s. One big concern was that countries might revert to protectionism to try to save jobs for domestic workers. This is precisely what many countries did at the onset of the Great Depression, and it is widely believed that that reaction made the Depression worse rather than better. Since the economic crisis began in late 2008, national leaders have regularly vowed to avoid protectionist pressures and maintain current trade liberalization commitments made under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and individual free trade agreements. However, at the same time, countries have raised barriers to trade in a variety of subtle ways. For example, the United States revoked a promise to maintain a program allowing Mexican trucks to enter the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it included “Buy American” provisions it its economic stimulus package, it initiated a special safeguards action against Chinese tire imports, and it brought a case against China at the WTO. Although many of these actions are legal and allowable under U.S. international commitments, they are nevertheless irritating to U.S. trading partners and indicative of the rising pressure to implement policies favorable to domestic businesses and workers. Most other countries have taken similar, albeit subtle, protectionist actions as well. Nevertheless, this rising protectionism runs counter to a second popular sentiment among people seeking to achieve greater liberalization and openness in international markets. For example, as the recession began, the United States had several free trade areas waiting to be approved by the U.S. Congress: one with South Korea, another with Colombia, and a third with Panama. In addition, the United States has participated in talks recently with many Pacific Rim countries to forge a Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) that could liberalize trade around the region. Simultaneously, free trade area discussions continue among many other country pairings around the world. This current ambivalence among countries and policymakers is nothing new. Since the Great Depression, trade policymaking around the world can be seen as a tug of war between proponents and opponents of trade liberalization. Even as free trade advocates have achieved trade expansions Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 14 and liberalizations, free trade opponents have often achieved market-closing policies at the same time; three steps forward toward trade liberalization are often coupled with two steps back at the same time. To illustrate this point, we continue with a discussion of both recent initiatives for trade liberalization and some of the efforts to resist these liberalization movements. We’ll also look back to see how the current policies and discussions have been shaped by events in the past century. Doha and WTO The Doha Round is the name of the current round of trade liberalization negotiations undertaken by WTO member countries. The objective is for all participating countries to reduce trade barriers from their present levels for trade in goods, services, and agricultural products; to promote international investment; and to protect intellectual property rights. In addition, member countries discuss improvements in procedures that outline the rights and responsibilities of the member countries. Member countries decided that a final agreement should place special emphasis on changes targeting the needs of developing countries and the world’s poor and disadvantaged. As a result, the Doha Round is sometimes called the Doha Development Agenda, or DDA. The Doha Round was begun at the WTO ministerial meeting held in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001. It is the first round of trade liberalization talks under the auspices of the WTO, which was founded in 1994 in the final General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) round of talks, the Uruguay Round. Because missed deadlines are commonplace in the history of GATT talks, an old joke is that GATT really means the “General Agreement to Talk and Talk.” In anticipation, WTO members decided to place strict deadlines for different phases of the agreement. By adhering to the deadlines, countries were more assured that the talks would be completed on schedule in the summer of 2005—but the talks weren’t. So members pushed off the deadline to 2006, and then to 2007, and then to 2008, always reporting that an agreement was near. As of 2009, the Doha Round has still not been completed, testifying to the difficulty of getting 153 member countries to conceive of a trade liberalization agreement that all countries can accept mutually. This is an important point: WTO rounds (and the GATT rounds before them) are never finalized until every member country agrees to the terms and conditions. Each country offers a set of trade-liberalizing commitments, or promises, and in return receives the trade-liberalizing commitments made by its 152 Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 15 potential trading partners. This is a much stronger requirement than majority voting, wherein coalitions can force other members into undesirable outcomes. Thus one reason this round has so far failed is because some countries believe that the others are offering too little liberalization relative to the liberalization they themselves are offering. The DDA is especially complex, not only because 153 countries must reach a consensus, but also because there are so many trade-related issues under discussion. Countries discuss not only tariff reductions on manufactured goods but also changes in agricultural support programs, regulations affecting services trade, intellectual property rights policy and enforcement, and procedures involving trade remedy laws, to name just a few. Reaching an agreement that every country is happy about across all these issues may be more than the system can handle. We’ll have to wait to see whether the Doha Round ever finishes to know if it is possible. Even then, there is some chance an agreement that is achievable may be so watered down that it doesn’t result in much trade liberalization. The primary stumbling block in the Doha Round (and the previous Uruguay Round too) has been insufficient commitments on agricultural liberalization, especially by the developed countries. Today, agriculture remains the most heavily protected industry around the world. In addition to high tariffs at the borders, most countries offer subsidies to farmers and dairy producers, all of which affects world prices and international trade. Developing countries believe that the low world prices for farm products caused by subsidies in rich countries both prevents them from realizing their comparative advantages and stymies economic development. However, convincing developed country farmers to give up long-standing handouts from their governments has been a difficult to impossible endeavor. To their credit, developed countries have suggested that they may be willing to accept greater reductions in agricultural subsidies if developing countries would substantially reduce their very high tariff bindings on imported goods and bind most or all of their imported products. Developing countries have argued, however, that because this is the Doha “Development” Round, they shouldn’t be asked to make many changes at all to their trade policies; rather, they argue that changes should be tilted toward greater market access from developing into developed country markets. Of course, this is not the only impasse in the discussions, as there are many other issues on the agenda. Nevertheless, agricultural liberalization will surely remain one of the major stumbling blocks to continued trade liberalization efforts. And the Doha Round is not dead yet, since continuing discussions Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 16 behind the spotlight reflect at least some sentiment around the world that further trade liberalization is a worthy goal. But this is not a sentiment shared by all, and indeed opponents almost prevented this WTO round from beginning in the first place. To understand why, we need to go back two years to the Doha Round commencement in Seattle, Washington, in December 1999. The WTO Seattle Ministerial—1999 Every two years, the WTO members agreed to hold a ministerial meeting bringing together, at minimum, the trade ministers of the member countries to discuss WTO issues. In 1999, the ministerial was held in Seattle, Washington, in the United States, and because it was over five years since the last round of trade discussions had finished, many members thought it was time to begin a new round of trade talks. There is a well-known “bicycle theory” about international trade talks that says that forward momentum must be maintained or else, like a bicycle, liberalization efforts will stall. And so the WTO countries decided by 1999 to begin a new “Millennial Round” of trade liberalization talks and to kick off the discussions in Seattle in December 1999. However, two things happened, the first attesting to the difficulty of getting agreement among so many countries and the second attesting to the growing opposition to the principles of free trade itself. Shortly before the ministers met, they realized that there was not even sufficient agreement among governments about what the countries should discuss in the new round. For example, the United States was opposed to any discussion about trade remedy laws, whereas many developing countries were eager to discuss revisions. Consequently, because no agreement—even about what to talk about—could be reached, the start of the round was postponed. The second result of the meeting was a cacophony of complaints that rose up from the thousands of protesters who gathered outside the meetings. This result was more profound if only because the resulting disturbances, including property damage and numerous arrests, brought the issues of trade and the WTO to the international stage. Suddenly, the world saw that there was substantial opposition to the principles of the WTO in promoting trade and expanded globalization. These protests at the Seattle Ministerial were perhaps directed not solely at the WTO itself but instead at a variety of issues brought to the forefront by globalization. Some protesters were there to protest environmental degradation and were worried that current development was unsustainable, others were protesting child labor and unsafe working conditions in developing countries, and still others were Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 17 concerned about the loss of domestic jobs due to international competition. In many ways, the protesters were an eclectic group consisting of students, labor union members, environmentalists, and even some anarchists. After Seattle, groups sometimes labeled “antiglobalization groups” began organizing protests at other prominent international governmental meetings, including the biannual World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings, the meeting of the G8 countries, and the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland. The opposition to freer trade, and globalization more generally, was on the rise. At the same time, though, national governments continued to press for more international trade and investment through other means. Ambivalence about Globalization since the Uruguay Round Objectively speaking, ambivalence about trade and globalization seems to best characterize the decades of the 1990s and 2000s. Although this was a time of rising protests and opposition to globalization, it was also a time in which substantial movements to freer trade occurred. What follows are some events of the last few decades highlighting this ambivalence. First off, trade liberalization became all the rage around the world by the late 1980s. The remarkable success of outward-oriented economies such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore—known collectively as the East Asian Tigers—combined with the relatively poor performance of inward-oriented economies in Latin America, Africa, India, and elsewhere led to a resurgence of support for trade. Because the Uruguay Round of the GATT was on its way to creating the WTO, many countries decided to jump on the liberalizing bandwagon by joining the negotiations to become founding members of the WTO. One hundred twenty-three countries were members of the WTO upon its inception in 1995, only to grow to 153 members by 2009. Perhaps the most important new entrant into the WTO was China in 2001. China had wanted to be a founding member of the WTO in 1995 but was unable to overcome the accession hurdle. You see, any country that is already a WTO member has the right to demand trade liberalization concessions from newly acceding members. Since producers around the world were fearful of competition from China, most countries demanded more stringent liberalization commitments than were usually expected from other acceding countries at a similar level of economic development. As a result, it took longer for China to gain entry than for most other countries. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 18 But at the same time that many developing countries were eager to join the WTO, beliefs in freer trade and the WTO were reversing in the United States. Perhaps the best example was the struggle for the U.S. president to secure trade-negotiating authority. First, a little history. Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The Congress shall have the power…to regulate commerce with foreign nations.” This means that decisions about trade policies must be made by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and not by the U.S. president. Despite this, the central agency in trade negotiations today is the United States Trade Representative (USTR), an executive branch (or presidential) agency. The reason for this arrangement is that the U.S. Congress has ceded authority for these activities to the USTR. One such piece of enabling legislation is known as trade promotion authority (TPA). TPA enables the U.S. president, or more specifically the USTR, to negotiate trade liberalization agreements with other countries. The legislation is known as fast-track authority because it provides for expedited procedures in the approval process by the U.S. Congress. More specifically, for any trade agreement the president presents to the Congress, Congress will vote the agreement, in its entirety, up or down in a yea or nay vote. Congress agrees not to amend or change in any way the contents of the negotiated agreement. The fast-track procedure provides added credibility to U.S. negotiators since trade agreement partners will know the U.S. Congress cannot change the details upon review. TPA has been given to the U.S. president in various guises since the 1930s. In the post–World War II era, authority was granted to the president to negotiate successive GATT rounds. A more recent incarnation was granted to the president in the Trade Act of 1974. TPA enabled negotiations for the U.S.- Israel free trade area (FTA) in 1985 and NAFTA in 1993. However, this authority expired in 1994 under President Clinton and was never reinstated during the remainder of his presidency. The failure to extend TPA signified the growing discontent, especially in the U.S. House of Representatives, with trade liberalization. When George W. Bush became president, he wanted to push for more trade liberalization through the expansion of FTAs with regional and strategic trade partners. He managed to gain a renewal of TPA in 2001 (with passage in the House by just one vote, 216 to 215). This enabled President Bush to negotiate and implement a series of FTAs with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 19 Central America and the Dominican Republic, and Peru. Awaiting congressional approval (as of December 2009) are FTAs with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Despite these advances toward trade liberalization, TPA expired in 2007 and has not yet been renewed by the U.S. Congress, again representing the ambivalence of U.S. policymakers to embrace freer trade. Another indication is the fact that the FTAs with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama were submitted for approval to Congress before the deadline for TPA expired in 2007 and these agreements still have not been brought forward for a vote by the U.S. Congress. While the United States slows its advance toward freer trade, other countries around the world continue to push forward. There are new FTAs between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, Japan and the Philippines, Thailand and Chile, Pakistan and China, and Malaysia and Sri Lanka, along with several other new pairings. Future prospects for trade liberalization versus trade protections are quite likely to depend on the length and severity of the present economic crisis. If the crisis abates soon, trade liberalization may return to its past prominence. However, if the crisis continues for several more years and if unemployment rates remain much higher than usual for an extended time, then demands for more trade protection may increase significantly. Economic crises have proved in the past to be a major contributor to high levels of protection. Indeed, as was mentioned previously, there is keen awareness today that the world may stumble into the trade policy mistakes of the Great Depression. Much of the trade liberalization that has occurred since then can be traced to the desire to reverse the effects of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. Thus to better understand the current references to our past history, the story of the Great Depression is told next. K E Y T A K E A W A Y S  Recent support for trade liberalization is seen in the establishment of numerous free trade areas and the participation of many countries in the Doha Round of trade talks.  Recent opposition to trade liberalization is seen in national responses to the financial crisis, the protest movement at the Seattle Ministerial and other venues, and the failure in the United States to grant trade promotion authority to the president. E X E R C I S E Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 20 1. Jeopardy Questions. As in the popular television game show, you are given an answer to a question and you must respond with the question. For example, if the answer is “a tax on imports,” then the correct question is “What is a tariff?” a. This branch of the U.S. government is given the authority to make trade policy. b. This theory suggests why continual negotiations are needed to assure long-term progress toward trade liberalization. c. This WTO ministerial meeting in 1999 began a wave of protests around the world against globalization initiatives. d. The term used to describe the U.S. presidential authority that includes expedited approval procedures in the U.S. Congress. e. The names of three countries with which the United States has implemented free trade areas. f. The name of the WTO round of trade liberalization talks begun in 2001. g. The term used to describe the economic sector in which goods and services are produced and traded, in contrast to the monetary sector. 1.4 The Great Depression, Smoot-Hawley, and the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA) L E A R N I N G O B JE C T I V E 1. Understand the trade policy effects of the Great Depression. Perhaps the greatest historical motivator for trade liberalization since World War II was the experience of the Great Depression. The Depression ostensibly began with the crash of the U.S. stock market in late 1929. Quite rapidly thereafter, the world economy began to shrink at an alarming pace. In 1930, the U.S. economy shrank by 8.6 percent and the unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent. With the contraction came a chorus of calls for protection of domestic industries facing competition from imported products. For U.S. workers, a tariff bill to substantially raise protection was already working its way through the legislature when the economic crisis hit. The objective of higher tariffs was to increase the cost of imported goods so that U.S. consumers would spend their money on U.S. products instead. By doing so, U.S. jobs could be saved in the import-competing industries. Many economists Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 21

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