The impact of rules of origin on trade flows

Economic Policy (Impact Factor: 2.33). 02/2005; 20(43):567-624. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0327.2005.00146.x
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT "A great deal of post-war trade liberalization resulted from regional, preferential trade agreements. Preferential trade agreements cut tariffs on goods originating only in those nations that have signed the agreement. Therefore, they need 'rules of origin' to determine which goods benefit from the tariff cut. Rules of origin have long been ignored for two good reasons: they are dauntingly complex and at first sight appear mind-numbingly dull. The third standard reason for ignoring them - the assertion that they do not matter much - turns out to be wrong. We show that rules of origin are important barriers to trade. Moreover, such rules are emerging as an important trade issue for three additional reasons. First, preferential trade deals are proliferating worldwide. Second, the global fragmentation of production implies complex international supply chains which are particularly constrained and distorted by rules of origin. Third, the extent to which regionalism challenges the WTO-based trading system depends in part on incompatibilities and rigidities built into rules of origin." Copyright © CEPR, CES, MSH, 2005.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of food quality standards in international trade is constantly increasing and has a growing influence on developing countries. A wide range of literature in development economics focused on the determinants of the standard adoption and on the debate of whether international standards exclude small-scale farmers from high-value food markets. Otherwise, when exclusion is pointed out, very little is said on how problematic such forms of exclusion are. In this paper, we use the Hirschman’s (1970) conceptual framework to examine which behaviors small-scale farmers adopt face to the incontrovertible standards, what happens to the farmers that are excluded from a specific certified market, and to what extent small farmers are affected to not be certified. Based on an analysis of primary data collected to examine the implication of GlobalGAP on the mango sector in Peru, we consider three main options for the small-scale farmers: “loyalty” (implementation of the standard under specific conditions), “switch” of market segment, and “exit” from the market. The last option leads farmers to sell all their production to small and volatile exporters, called golondrinos (swallows). We show empirically that some small-scale farmers (8% of the sample) comply with GlobalGAP standard thanks to the support from exporters (farming contracts which include the certification cost), while others switch of market segment by complying with the organic certification (12,5%). Organic certification substitutes for the GlobalGAP requirement in the EU market. Finally, we find a significant level of exit option (24%), especially among smaller farms, less specialized, and furthest from exporter plants. The latter seem very affected by the changes related to the GlobalGAP standard requirements: price risk on their production has increased and their bargaining power and agricultural income have decreased. They are particularly vulnerable because their level of investment (mango trees) impedes to radically change of farm activity. ...French Abstract : L’importance grandissante des standards durables pour les produits agricoles dans le commerce international a un impact de plus en plus important dans les pays en développement. Dans ce papier, nous nous intéressons aux implications de la mise en place du standard Globalgap dans la filière mangue au Pérou pour les petits producteurs locaux.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the key issues and assesses the impact of the rules of origin (RoO) and cumulation on Nigeria’s international trade within the context of Africa-EU partnerships agreements. The review of literatures shows that RoO are an important element in determining the final benefit associated with the bilateral trade relationship under preferential trade agreements. It notes that Africa-EU bilateral trade relations dates back to the Lome Conventions that gave preferential entry into EU of some products, and now to the new Africa-EU partnership which lays less emphasis on RoO. An analysis of available data show that RoO have had limited impact on Nigeria’s exports trade with the EU since her major exports (crude oil) does not benefit from RoO. Instead, there has been an increase in intermediate imports from EU which suggests trade creation in favour of EU while the rising trend in trade within Africa could be the result of bilateral cumulation and intra-Africa FTAs/economic integration. The paper further argues that the increase in trade with USA and others may be the result of trade reorientation as a result of switching from EU to other cheaper partner countries, especially USA in the face of AGOA. Among the challenges which militate against the RoO are: global reduction in tariff by WTO and the changing focus of the objectives of Africa-EU partnership principles from PTA to regional support. In concluding, the paper notes that the new partnership agreements needs to reconsider its position on RoO as it is a potent tool that is mutually beneficial in partnership. As such, the EU must go beyond the WTO GSP and AGOA to give preferential treatment to goods originating from Africa.
    University Library of Munich, Germany, MPRA Paper. 01/2010;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper examines how the private sector responds to export opportunities induced by FTAs, using evidence from the Thai manufacturing sector during the period 2003-08. The core methodology is to undertake an inter-product panel-data econometric analysis to gain a better understanding of FTA utilization across products. Different from previous studies, it makes an explicit distinction between actual and preferential trade in which the latter is measured by the administrative records of FTA implementation. Our findings suggest that the product coverage is limited. Products that have benefited from FTA tariff preferences so far are highly concentrated. Our key finding from the econometric analysis is that as rules of origin (ROO) constraints are binding empirically, the ability to comply with ROO as well as tariff margin does matter in firms’ decisions to use FTAs. The estimated cost in compiling ROO is equivalent to a tariff in the range of 2% to 10%. Besides, the FTA impact on exports is conditioned by trade volume during the pre-signing FTA period. The key policy inference is that it is unlikely to be able to promote exports by maximizing the number of FTAs, while ignoring the nature of FTA partners. The nature of the FTA partner does matter in establishing whether the signed FTA would be useful. In addition, for Japan and countries which are enthusiastic about FTAs as a mode for further liberalization, FTA negotiation on tariff cuts schedules must be undertaken in a more comprehensive way in which ROO and trade facilitation issues must be incorporated in the negotiation.
    Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), Discussion papers. 01/2010;

Full-text (3 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014