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Trade measures

Technical barriers to trade in south-south negotiations

Publication´s date: 
Oct 2014
Author: 
José María Arbilla y Carlos Galperín
Three phenomena characterizing the current global trade presuppose a challenge for Argentina: a growing share of developing countries and of south-south trade, an increase in non-tariff barriers and an increasing number of regional trade agreements. Considering these three phenomena, this article states the importance of negotiating the technical barriers to the trade of manufactures in the south-south sphere and of setting the priorities that Argentina could promote as MERCOSUR’s position in possible trade agreement negotiations with developing countries. Through a survey of the measures adopted by developing countries and discussed at the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Committee, the main barriers that could be faced by Argentine exports in the south-south trade were identified. An analysis of the evolution of the technical obstacles to trade disciplines makes it possible to identify the tools available and the challenges to construct a negotiating position. From the analysis, there come up some priorities for the trade negotiations in which MERCOSUR participates, such as to strengthen the link between technical regulations and the pertinent international standards, and to use the standards elaborated by standardization institutions in which developing countries participate as a reference.
Type: 
ARTICLE
General topic: 

The D-cycle: deficit, debt and default in developing countries under the current global economic order

Publication´s date: 
Mar 2015
Author: 
Francisco Mango y Enrique Aschieri
This article aims at investigating the reasons why, with few exceptions, debts accumulated by developing countries could not be paid off during the second half of the 20th century, at least in the sense given by Keynes referred to the fact that they are effectively cancelled as long as they are repaid with countries’ resources. In a fiduciary international monetary system where developed countries’ currency units act as reserves, developing countries’ own resources are basically constituted by positive results in their balance of trade. Nevertheless, the global economic order prevailing, with some shades, as an aftermath of war, succeeded in consolidating developed countries’ protectionist schemes, whose import expenditures are the main means through which developing countries can effectively cancel their debt commitments, in Keynes’ sense. Within this framework, the current global economic order promotes the formation of a recurrent medium-term cycle in the dynamics of growth of developing countries, which in the present work will be defined as the D-cycle: deficit, debt and default. Given the protectionism present in developed countries, this cycle begins with a first stage where developing countries must become indebted so as to be able to cover the demand for imports that are vital for their economic growth. The cycle follows with a second stage, in which indebtedness persists but it is directed towards financing mainly the repayment of the debt previously accumulated and, to a lesser degree, essential imports, thus resigning economic growth. In the last stage, suffocated by the burden of foreign debt services and the need to resume growth, developing countries incur default of one part of their obligations, which implies more than simply default on payment.
Type: 
ARTICLE

What is behind the European trade measures against Argentine biodiesel?

Publication´s date: 
Mar 2015
Author: 
Ivana Doporto Miguez y María Victoria Lottici
The biofuel sector in Argentina, specifically the biodiesel sector, has become one of the most affected by an intensified use of trade measures with a clear protectionist character by the European Union. The antidumping rights imposed by the UE against Argentine biodiesel in 2013 brought about almost a 90% loss of Argentine exports of biodiesel, amounting to US$ 1.9 billion in 2011. Nevertheless, the measures taken up by the European Commission are not exclusively intended to act against the Argentine biodiesel but they respond to an overall protection strategy favouring the European biofuel industry against third party competition, both from developed and developing countries. In turn, the environmental standards –some of them established and others under discussion– of the EU Renewable Energies Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive have become, in practice, non-tariff barriers since they increase the costs of Argentine exports to that market destination. Moreover, to the default values for soy biodiesel set forth in the European legislation adds the controversial accounting of emissions derived from indirect land use change (ILUC) and the limits to first generation biodiesel consumption, which uses raw materials derived from food in its elaboration. The underlying risk of the application of these environmental standards –which pretend to seek a legitimate environmental goal– is that they are set up as disguised barriers to trade with a clear protectionist nature, since these measures attempt to strongly restrict trade and change the competitive relationship between substitute products, at the same time as they have weak connections with the environmental goal declared.
Type: 
ARTICLE

Impact of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and of technical regulations on Argentine exports of lemons,

Author: 
Verónica Fossati - Carlos Galperín - Gabriel Michelena
Different quantitative impact studies have recently come to the conclusion that sanitary and phytosanitary measures as well as technical regulations may have a restrictive effect on trade in agricultural products, coinciding with the claims made by developing countries in different international forums. This paper focuses on the study of the impact this type of measures have on Argentine exports of fresh lemon, using two complementary approaches: the inventory method and a gravity model. The inventory method confirms the increase in the amount of sanitary and technical measures that affect the Argentine market for lemons, and reveals that most Argentine exports have been affected by at least one measure notified in the period under analysis (1996–2010). The gravity method let us conclude that, due to the sanitary, phytosanitary and technical measures, the value of Argentine exports of fresh lemon to destinations imposing this type of measures would have been 14% lower than to those countries which did not implement them. This confirms the restrictive effect of this type of measures.
Type: 
ARTICLE
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