PTAs, Tariff Schedules and Trade Remedies

This project focuses on the classical trade instruments that have been used in PTAs from the start. We investigate the political economy of tariff concessions. In addition, we will combine DESTA with an existing data-base to study how obligations in PTAs related to trade remedies affect domestic application of trade remedy laws.

The first sub-project (The Political Economy of Tariff Schedules) puts the emphasis on both the design and the effects of PTAs related to tariff concessions. We focus on factors that explain the timing and extent of tariff liberalisations. To what degree can governments react to interest group pressures by postponing liberalisation (back-loading) for import-competing industries and providing early harvest (front-loading) for export-oriented industries? What is the relationship between opt-outs (exceptions) and various types of market access concessions? We also address the trade flow effects. We attempt to provide direct measures of market access concessions and investigate their causal effect on trade flows. We are mainly interested in focusing on the type of sectors that benefit from PTAs and analyse the extent to which PTAs provide gains.


The second sub-project (Trade Remedies and Preferential Trade Agreements) aims to make three contributions to the existing literature. First, it studies variation in design related to trade remedies, in particular in respect to anti-dumping and safeguard provisions. Why in some PTAs do we witness recourse to flexible trade remedies, while in other PTAs we observe attempts to restrict the use of trade remedies? Second, we are interested in the causal effects of PTA design on the actual use of trade remedies domestically. Do PTAs restrict the use of domestic trade remedies and if so to what degree and under what conditions?  What are the channels (political and economic) that affect their use? Third, we will explore how different flexibility measures (AD vs. safeguard measures) interact and how they relate to other non-tariff measures that states can take.