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Termites in the Trading SystemHow Preferential Agreements Undermine Free Trade$
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Jagdish Bhagwati

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331653

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331653.001.0001

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What Do We Do Now?

What Do We Do Now?

Chapter:
Chapter 4 What Do We Do Now?
Source:
Termites in the Trading System
Author(s):

Jagdish Bhagwati

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331653.003.0004

It is clearly shown that the situation regarding preferential trade agreements (PTAs) cries out for palliatives and for solutions. Three options have been explored: (1) halting the formation of new PTAs and eliminating the preferences in existing PTAs through built-in reductions of the differentials between most favored nation (MFN) tariffs on nonmembers and the preferential tariffs on members; (2) reducing the chaos of the spaghetti bowl through harmonization and similar techniques that turn the spaghetti, as it were, into lasagna; and (3) using multilateral trade negotiations such as the Doha Round to reduce the MFN tariffs to negligible levels, thus decreasing the preference by indirection: preferences relative to zero would be zero. These three options are specifically elaborated in this chapter.

Keywords:   preferential trade agreements, most favored nation tariff, preferential tariff, multilateral trade, Doha Round

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