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Trade Negotiations

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.
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Doha: Much Ado About Nothing? An explanation of the reason why central countries should give in to conclude the Round

Publication´s date: 
Oct 2014
Author: 
Federico Lavopa y Francisco Mango
Twelve years after it was launched, the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization finally managed to conclude an agreement, known as the “Bali Package”. Nevertheless, this package’s pillars simply represent a marginal aspect of the agenda of negotiations of said Round and the length of time expected for its implementation was not accomplished by July 2014. For that reason, the present Round of negotiations at the WTO remains stagnant where it was started in 2001, and, what is worse, there is no clear likelihood of its serious conclusion yet.
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The costs of the measures to control greenhouse gas emissions borne by the Argentine air transport.

Publication´s date: 
Mar 2015
Author: 
Carlos Galperín, Arturo Lewinger, María Victoria Lottici y Laura Daicz
This article estimated the potential cost for the Argentine air transport of the application of the emission trading system, currently being under discussion at the ICAO pursuant to the draft in force as of December 2014, as well as that derived from the waiver of the suspension of extra-community flights from the European Union regime. The cost for Aerolíneas Argentinas of applying the EU regime could be almost 10 times bigger than the one that would derive from applying the ICAO’s mechanism. This is due to the fact that the EU compels the compensation of the overall figure of the emissions made, whereas the ICAO mechanism would only compensate the emissions surpassing certain level of reference. This difference could be reduced in two thirds as long as Aerolíneas obtains free emission rights by the EU. The difference in costs shows the importance of the UE’s threat in case of not reaching an agreement at the ICAO. Adopting the ICAO’s option would have the additional cost of setting a precedent for the negotiation of the International Maritime Organization and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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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.
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Industrial policy tools questioned at the WTO

Publication´s date: 
Mar 2015
Author: 
Verónica Fossati, María Florencia Iborra y Adriana Molina
Many of the public policy tools that tended to be used by currently industrialized countries were restricted or even prohibited after the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and, even more so, after the emergence of the World Trade Organization in 1994. In this context, several of the instruments used by developing countries to achieve industrialization have been questioned by their peers within the framework of this multilateral body. This work will seek to identify them so as to spot specific aspects whose flexibilization would allow these countries to recover part of said tools. To that aim, surveyance has been made of the claims submitted in the minutes of certain WTO Councils and Committees and of the cases processed before the Dispute Settlement Body. The results show that most of the questioning is made by industrialized countries and it falls on a small number of developing countries. Apart from that, it is mostly related to domestic or export subsidies, import licensing and local content requirements.
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“Green trade protectionism”: an analysis of three new issues that affect developing countries

Author: 
María Victoria Lottici - Carlos Galperín - Julia Hoppstock
The environment is increasingly being used to justify protectionist measures that enjoy greater social legitimacy. In the last years new issues have been included and in this study we will analyse three of them: green growth and green economy, climate change response measures, and the liberalisation of environmental goods and services. These new issues are used both to apply barriers to the goods and services coming from developing countries and to enhance the access of developed countries’ exports of industrial products. All this ends up in a “green protectionism” which is aimed at improving the trade balance of developed countries, especially in relation to developing countries. In the multiple forums where these topics are being debated, Argentina has claimed that these issues should neither result in a green protectionism nor encourage policies that constitute disguised restrictions on international trade, which would be inconsistent with the multilateral trading system and with the international environmental law, in particular with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
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The G20 and the results of the Los Cabos Summit

Author: 
Hugo Gobbi - Julieta Grande - Carolina Fernández
This paper intends to analyse the agreements reached at the G20 Summit which took place on 18 and 19 June 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico, in the light of the current international context and of Argentina’s position and interests in the forum. Argentina’s participation in the G20 is both an important foreign policy challenge and an opportunity to advance the interests of our country in a range of issues on the international agenda and to strengthen political coordination with other emerging countries. During 2012, Mexico, which is in charge of the G20’s rotating presidency, presented an orthodox agenda, influenced by the view of organisations such as the OECD and the IMF. Some of the topics that were put forward included fiscal consolidation and structural adjustment as ways to recover from the economic crisis, and the across-the-board introduction of the concept of “green growth” in the different G20 working groups. Our country, together with other emerging countries, did not agree with this initial view and thus coordinated positions that slowly generated consensus so that the Los Cabos Declaration, signed by the G20 Leaders in June 2012, contains elements of interest for Argentina. In this sense, it is worth highlighting that the language calling for strategies toward strong, sustainable and balanced growth as well as job creation became the cornerstones of the Declaration. Moreover, the importance of investing in infrastructure—which is considered by our country as a key countercyclical instrument to overcome the development gap—was stressed. Additionally, with regard to international trade, the commitment to conclude the Doha Round in accordance with its mandate was reiterated. Lastly, the concept of “green growth” was finally reformulated to highlight the social dimension of development; it was also recognized that this concept should not be used as an excuse to introduce new obstacles to trade. (Full text only available in Spanish).
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