Computational Analysis of the US FTAs with Central America, Australia and Morocco

World Economy (Impact Factor: 0.69). 09/2005; 28(10):1441 - 1490. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2005.00743.x
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT We use the Michigan Model of World Production and Trade to assess the economic effects of the US bilateral FTAs negotiated with Central America, Australia and Morocco. The model covers 18 economic sectors in each of 22 countries/regions and is based on version 5.4 of the GTAP database for 1997 together with specially constructed estimates of services barriers and other data on sectoral employment and numbers of firms. The distinguishing feature of the model is that it incorporates imperfect competition in the manufacturing and services sectors, including monopolistic competition, increasing returns and product variety. The modelling focus is on the effects of the bilateral removal of tariffs on agriculture and manufactures and services barriers. Rules of origin and other restrictive measures and the non-trade aspects of the FTAs are not taken into account due to data constraints. The computational results indicate that the benefits of bilateral FTAs for the United States and partner countries are rather small in both absolute and relative terms, and that far greater benefits could be realised if the United States and its FTA partners adopted unilateral free trade and especially if multilateral free trade was adopted by all countries/regions in the global trading system.

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    • "A further disadvantage of a CGE approach is that the results are highly sensitive to particular methodological assumptions. For example, the U.S. ITC study of the Central American-Dominican Free Trade Agreement Republic (CAFTA-DR) free trade agreement suggested an increase in U.S. welfare of as much as $248 million (USITC 2004c) while a Michigan model estimated an increase of $17.3 billion (Brown, et al., 2005). Beyond modeling differences (such as the treatment of services), the "
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    ABSTRACT: We use fitted values from a standard gravity equation to rank countries as possible U.S. free trade agreement partners based on trade and investment potential. The European Union and Japan are ranked highest based on this methodology and individual Bush administration FTA initiatives generally generally are ranked very low. However, the combined affects of completed and proposed Bush FTAs have the potential to rank almost as high as the EU and Japan separately. This result is consistent with the view that, despite widespread criticism of the Bush administration's choices of FTA partners, the overall impact may be significant.
    The International Trade Journal 03/2007; 21(2):161-189. DOI:10.1080/08853900701266621
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    ABSTRACT: [Excerpt] The United States is in the process of considering a number of trade agreements. In addition, the 111th Congress may address the issue of trade promotion authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. These agreements range from bilateral trade agreements with countries that account for meager shares of U.S. trade to multilateral negotiations that could affect large numbers of U.S. workers and businesses. During this process, Congress likely will be presented with an array of data estimating the impact of trade agreements on the economy, or on a particular segment of the economy. An important policy tool that can assist Congress in assessing the value and the impact of trade agreements is represented by sophisticated models of the economy that are capable of simulating changes in economic conditions. These models are particularly helpful in estimating the effects of trade liberalization in such sectors as agriculture and manufacturing where the barriers to trade are identifiable and subject to some quantifiable estimation. Barriers to trade in services, however, are proving to be more difficult to identify and, therefore, to quantify in an economic model. In addition, the models are highly sensitive to the assumptions that are used to establish the parameters of the model and they are hampered by a serious lack of comprehensive data in the services sector. Nevertheless, the models do provide insight into the magnitude of the economic effects that may occur across economic sectors as a result of trade liberalization. These insights are especially helpful in identifying sectors expected to experience the greatest adjustment costs and, therefore, where opposition to trade agreements is likely to occur. This report examines the major features of economic models being used to estimate the effects of trade agreements. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the models as an aid in helping Congress evaluate the economic impact of trade agreements on the U.S. economy. In addition, this report identifies and assesses some of the assumptions used in the economic models and how these assumptions affect the data generated by the models. Finally, this report evaluates the implications for Congress of various options it may consider as it assesses trade agreements.
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    ABSTRACT: Morocco’s trade policy is at a cross-roads. Historically, the country has had a very restrictive import regime that generated substantial transfers to domestic producers. In terms of the simple average of most-favored nation tariffs, Morocco is one of the ten most highly protected markets in the world. Yet, with the signing of the Euro-Med Agreement with the European Union and its implementation since 2000, a decision for the gradual opening of the domestic market through preferential trade liberalization was taken. This choice was subsequently reaffirmed through the conclusion of further free trade agreements with the United States and Turkey. The resulting shift in trade policy paradigms promises to create new opportunities for export-led economic growth and employment generation, while requiring adjustment of domestic producers to the new, more competitive economic environment and additional policy reforms to complement the market opening strategy.
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