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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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In depth-analysis of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body: a quantitative characterization of the system 20 years after its inception

Publication´s date: 
Oct 2014
Author: 
Laura Daicz, Carlos Galperín, Federico Lavopa y Adriana Molina
This work analyzes, from a quantitative perspective, the cases initiated and dealt with within the framework of the WTO Dispute Settlement System. For that reason, a data base was created systematically incorporating all the relevant details of the controversies started at this System since its enforcement. One of the main objectives of this paper is to assess whether the System shows any bias acting contrary to developing countries’ needs. The main results obtained from the analysis of the data show that developing countries have been increasing their participation in the System as complainants and respondents; that the most cited regulations refer to trade defence measures; that the greatest proportion of cases involve industrial products; that developing countries have received more claims for industrial than for agricultural and fisheries products; that the decisions of the Panel and of the Appellate Body are slightly biased against developing countries, both considering the global results and those referred to the claims; and that the “extra juridical” solutions have demonstrated to play an important role in the System’s functioning.
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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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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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