Fair Trade for All

How Trade Can Promote Development
May 2006

Joseph E. Stiglitz


• The need for a development round • Trade liberalization has not lived up to its promise
– The failures in practice – Theory

• The Development Round is not a True Development Round
– The Dangers of a ―false‖ development Round – The Dangers of a failed development round
• The growth of bilateral and regional trade agreements

Outline (II)
• • • • • • Overview of major results of Fair Trade for All Road to the Hong Kong WTO meeting: Development’ Round: Is it only rhetoric? Principles of a Development Round 11 Priorities of a Development Round Adjustment costs
– Adjustment assistance

• Conclusion

The need for a development round
(I) Past rounds have been unfair
• The Uruguay Round agenda focussed on the interests of rich countries; it included
– Services - but not unskilled labor intensive services; – Subsidies - but not agricultural subsidies; – Intellectual property rights;

• Most of its projected benefits accrued to the rich countries
– 70% of gains to developed countries – The 48 Least Developed Countries were actually left worse off


The need for a development round
(II) The trading system is unbalanced
• The system is stacked against poor countries
– The average OECD tariff on goods from poor countries is 4 times higher than on goods from other OECD countries – Rich countries cost poor countries three times more in trade restrictions than their total development assistance to them.

• There has been little progress on agricultural issues
– OECD countries continue to subsidise agriculture by 48% of total farm production, just 3% lower than 1986; and maintain high tariffs

• Intellectual property rights disadvantage poor countries
– Exacerbate north-south knowledge gap; and restrict technology transfer – Do not protect indigenous knowledge

Trade liberalization has not … … produced the expected benefits in practice, even when specifically directed at helping developing countries
• EU‘s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative
– Did not lead to significant increases in exports from poor countries, partly because of low export capacity/weak infrastructure and complex rules of origin

• US AGOA initiative
– Only benefitted a few countries and those will diminish 6 after restrictions (e.g. use of US cotton) come into force

Explaining the Failures
• Trade liberalization has not been asymmetric • But even theory is qualified in its support of trade liberalization
– With imperfect risk markets, trade liberalization may be Pareto Inferior (Newbery-Stiglitz, 1982) – With growth, argument for trade liberalization even weaker
• Most of growth is related to technological progress (Solow, 1957) • Market failures are pervasive (Arrow, Stiglitz) • Historically, most successful countries developed behind some protectionist barriers

The Infant Economy Argument for Protection
• Often trade-offs between static and dynamic efficiency (patent system) • Model postulates
– (uncompensated) spillovers from industrial sector to agricultural sector within a country
• both in technology and in institutional development

– Innovations concentrated in industrial sector – Among the important determinants of pace of innovation in industrial sector is its size

• Two sector two country model; large efficient developed country; small developing country with comparative advantage in agriculture • Without protection, it specializes in agriculture, remains stagnant, falling increasing behind developed country • Protection results in short run losses, but long run gains • Model robust
– Results strengthened if there are interindustry cross border technology flows in the industrial sector

• • • •

Argues for broad based protection Generates revenue to finance education, research Avoids special interest protectionism Consistent with south-south regional trade agreements From Bruce Greenwald and Joseph E. Stiglitz, “Helping Infant Economies Grow: The Foundations of Trade Policies for Developing Countries‖ American Economic Review, May, 2006 (forthcoming)

Development Round as it has evolved is not true development round
• Central message of our book Fair Trade for All How Trade Can Promote Development • Lays out a comprehensive agenda of trade liberalization that would promote development • That agenda is very different from that set out in Doha • And even more different from what has evolved since
– With the current agenda, the Development Round does not deserve that name – Hong Kong avoided a disaster—but only by lowering expectations
• And even then exposed the advanced industrial countries to charges of hypocrisy • And of reneging on the promises of Doha • But showed new and diverging interests of developing countries

The Dangers
• An agreement that would make many developing countries worse off • An agreement that would be treated as a true development round, so that efforts at redressing imbalances of past would be diminished • The U.S. bilateral strategy—moving away from multilateralism and the multilateral trade system


The dangers of bilateral and regional trade agreements
• Not just undermining multilateral system • And making progress towards a more liberal global trade regime more difficult • But a move towards a trade regime which is even more unfair to developing countries • And which undermines principles of the market economy

Bilateral trade agreements have been based on a dream
• That signing an agreement with the U.S.—a ―good housekeeping‖ seal of approval— would bring untold investment and growth • But the reality has been far different


NAFTA—if there was ever an agreement that should have worked
--it was NAFTA, with Mexico so close to huge U.S. market • NAFTA ten years later …
– Mexico has lower growth than ten years before – High inequality, low innovation, low wages growth and some of the poorest worse off as a consequence of US agricultural subsidies – Shows at the very least dream has not been realized

• NAFTA was not really a free and fair trade agreement
– With massive US agricultural subsidies – With retention of non-tariff barriers
• Which were used when Mexico made inroads into America’s market

• NAFTA intruded into basic areas of national sovereignty
– Chapter 11 made environmental regulations more difficult – Not really intended for basic investor protection

• Trade is important, but trade isn’t everything • Trade liberalization is important, but it isn’t everything
– – – – – Difficulties in competing with China Making Mexico more dependent on US Significant loss of revenue from loss of tariffs Revenue needed for public investments in infrastructure and education Major impediment to economic success

Bilateral trade agreements likely to be more unfair…
• Need for TRIPs minus, instead TRIPs plus
– Morocco

• Going into areas which should not be on agenda and may make development more difficult
– CML (Chile: ironic, especially given role it played in protecting Chile from global financial crisis) – Bubble gum (Singapore) – Environmental regulations (Chapter 11)


Bilateral agreements bad for global efficiency
• Principle of single price at core of efficiency of market economy • Underlays MFN principle (most favored nation) • Which underlay global trade system for past fifty years • Bilateral agreements undermine this

Bilateral agreements undermine global efficiency
• Much of gain based on trade diversion, rather than trade creation
– Should be enforcement of WTO regulations, assessing overall impact

• And in long run may increase costs of adjustment
– Especially important for developing countries – Movement into advantaged area, only to lead to a movement out, when advantage is eliminated


Bilateral agreements make progress towards global trading system more difficult

• In spite of fact that they are sometimes sold to the contrary • Those with preferences will see any multilateral agreement as hurting them • Putting up obstacles for global liberalization


Perhaps worst danger…
• Spaghetti bowl of agreements will undermine market economy
– With complicated rules of origin – Undermining normal basis of competition, the price system – Huge costs of administration – And subject to administrative abuse

And undermining basic objective of development round
• Development is a global concern
– Global commitment to meeting Millennium Development Goals

• Trade is a major instrument
– Enhancing opportunity – ―Hand up‖ rather than hand out – Aid and Trade complements


• Agreements among developing countries are more likely to be fair—agreements among equals
– Meaning developing countries are more likely to gain – Even though ―economics‖ of such agreements might suggest that the potential scope for gains is smaller

In Fair Trade for All
• We explain how trade can promote development • And that would be fair for all • We explain what a true development round would look like • And the assistance that is necessary to enable developing countries to take advantage of the opportunities that are opened up.


Road to the Hong Kong WTO meeting:
• Seattle ‘99
• Clinton attempts to launch ‗Millennium Round‘, but the meeting fails amid street riots

• Doha ‘01
• Cancun ‘03 • July mini ‗04

• Launches the ‗Development Round‘ with the goal of completion in Jan 05
• Supposed to ‗evaluate progress‘ but no progress was made in key areas, so the developing countries walked out • Attempt to put the round back on track by reducing the ambition of the agreements


‗Development‘ Round: Is it only rhetoric?
• The Doha declaration made bold but vague promises to developing countries
– But did the agenda reflect the real concerns and interests of developing countries?
– Or was the agenda hijacked, with the proposed agreements actually making the developing countries worse off

• What would a development agenda really look like?
• Conclusion: The agenda as it evolved was not pro-development

‗Development‘ Round: Is it only rhetoric?
• The agenda of the ‗Development Round‘ as it evolved did little for the developing countries
– – – – – It did little to address concerns in agriculture It did little to address problems posed by non-tariff barriers It went only a little way in addressing concerns about intellectual property It did little to advance a developing country service sector agenda There were no reforms in basic procedures

• The proposed agenda‘s new issues were not those of central concern to the developing world
– Procurement—developing countries unlikely to be successful in procurement (e.g. defense) in advanced industrial countries, but – US wanted capital market liberalization – Competition policy which restricted development and socially oriented preferences


Principles of a Development Round
1. A trade agreement should be assessed in terms of its impact on development

2. An agreement should be fair
- it should have fair outcomes


Principles of a Development Round
3. An agreement should be fairly arrived at
– – – Current procedures put developing countries at a disadvantage Developed countries have resisted more fundamental reforms Increase openness and transparency of negotiations Symmetric enforcement system


Principles of a Development Round
4. It should be limited in scope
– – – Expansive negotiations put developing countries at a disadvantage Principle of conservatism. Only issues that 1) are relevant to trade flows, 2) are developmentfriendly, 3) involve a rationale for collective action Since decision process not democratic, and there is some loss of sovereignty, there should be positive benefits for developing countries: should focus on areas that are of essential concern e.g. where cooperative action is necessary

11 Priorities of a Development Round
1. Liberalization and protection of labor flows and labor intensive services
– More important for global efficiency than capital market liberalization – Without imposition of adverse risk effects – Improves living standards through remittances
• $32 Billion in remittances in 2002 in Caribbean and Latin America far greater than total ODI and only slightly less than FDI

11 Priorities of a Development Round
2. Liberalization of agricultural market,
- especially of those goods for which there will be limited adverse consumption effects

3. Liberalization of industrial goods
- elimination of tariff peaks, and tariff escalation


11 Priorities of a Development Round
4. National treatment of anti-competitive practices

Eliminating discriminatory treatment against foreign producers through dumping duties Single regime for anti-competitive practices for both foreign and domestic firms

5. Explicit recognition of rights to use industrial and other development policies
– – Including government‘s right to provide to capital at ―reasonable‖ interest rates Including use of ―CRA‖ requirements to ensure access 33 to finance

11 Priorities of a Development Round
6. Restrictions on tax competition to attract investments
7. TRIPS minus—rebalance intellectual property rights
– Foster the transfer and dissemination of technology – Protection of traditional knowledge

11 Priorities of a Development Round
8. Fairer mechanism for enforcement
– – Threat of small, LDCs imposing trade sanctions against US not very effective Trade losses compensated with financial payments or from international auction of retaliatory rights

9. Expanding agenda to concerns of developing countries: Anti-corruption policies and arms sales restrictions

International non-bribery legislation
i.e. Everything But Arms agreement, but make it meaningful — rules of origin—and broader

10. Extend ―unilateral disarmament‖

11 Priorities of a Development Round
11. Institutional reforms
– – More transparency in negotiating process Principle of representativeness

Independent office for the assessment of the impact of proposed trade provisions on development and developing countries
and assessment of ‗trade diversion‘ vs. ‗trade creation‘ affects of bilateral and regional agreements


Adjustment costs
• Much larger for many developing countries than for advanced industrial countries
– Developing countries are vulnerable to policy shocks because their export industries are least diversified – Developing countries need to make the largest changes to comply with regulations – The trade structure is most distorted in the industries of importance for developing countries


Adjustment costs
• Loss of preferences:
– Small countries with less diversified industries may face large adjustment costs

• Tariff reduction has serious fiscal consequences for many developing countries • Developing countries face high implementation costs: taking away resources needed elsewhere


Adjustment assistance
• Adjustment costs impact on the poorest people and divert resources from other development priorities • Provision of compensation wins political support for reform • Technical assistance is needed to improve trade performance through policy and institutional strengthening
– Technical assistance commitments were non-binding for developed countries – And many countries did not live up to the commitments


• The round of trade negotiations that began in Doha does not deserve epithet of a ―Development Round‖
• In present set-up, for developing countries, no agreement may be better than a bad agreement

• International community should resolve to have a true development round
• International community needs to provide the assistance both to help developing countries to adjust and to take advantage of new opportunities


• International community should reform procedures of negotiations
• Such reforms are likely to lead to a reform in outcomes—to outcomes that are fairer to developing countries and more likely to promote rather than hinder their development


New book: Fair Trade For All
How Trade Can Promote Development
8th December 2005 Oxford University Press


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