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Since the mid-1970s, the U.S. commodity futures exchanges have increasingly been the focus of tight government regulation, which resulted in strong control by a specific agency: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In Europe, the regulation of futures diverged from the U.S. model. No regulation at the communitarian level was implemented; at the national level, the United Kingdom emerged as a model of self-regulation of commodity markets. This article explores the historical causes behind this lack of regulation in Europe, placing it in the context of global commodity trading and arguing that the European regulation of futures trading was reshaped by a dialogue established between the European Commission and big players of commodity futures trading in the City of London. Since the mid-1960s, the City of London has become a pivotal global market venue for commodity futures, which has increasingly attracted players from abroad, thanks to its financial integrity and self-regulatory model. Both established London merchants and emerging players in the global trade of financial products cooperated to stave off any attempt at regulating the London futures exchanges. The inference here is that those attempts were instrumental in setting the conditions leading to the regulatory fragmentation that still characterizes futures trading in the global market.
We present evidence that international trade may exacerbate the initial unequal distribution of hydric resources. This result is driven by the fact that countries exporting agricultural goods are relatively abundant (with respect to capital) in the combined availability of water and arable land but, in absolute terms, scarce in capital and not richer in water in comparison to more developed ones. Due to both the scarcity of capital and the lower relative price of natural resources with respect to capital, the total value of production in these developing countries is modest, implying that international trade can lead to a less even distribution of the water content of consumption. Policies sustaining water prices and, more generally, those of natural resources (or lower capital costs) may contribute to offsetting this effect and allow for trade to play a positive role in reducing the uneven distribution of water endowments.
Although globalization and the world trade regime have reduced the significance of distance between countries, within countries geography matters now more than ever. Inside countries’ borders, economic activities, such as production and employment, occur unevenly across space. As a result, international trade impacts parts of a country differently. Some areas benefit from rising trade, while others experience reductions in local wages and employment as a result of increased import competition. Because regions’ experience of globalization varies, public opinion about trade differs across geographic areas within countries. Voters living in regions advantaged by trade are more likely to support economic openness, while voters living in regions negatively impacted by trade are more skeptical of the benefits of globalization. The geographic disparities in public attitudes towards trade often align with salient political cleavages. As a result, debates over trade have become increasingly polarized in many countries, which may threaten states’ continued economic openness as well as their engagement with, and even support for, the world trade regime.
China's rise as the world's second-largest economy surely is the most dramatic development in the global economy since the year 2000. But China's prominence in the global economy is hardly new. Since 500 BCE, a dynamic market economy and the establishment of an enduring imperial state fostered precocious economic growth. Yet Chinese society and government featured distinctive institutions that generated unique patterns of economic development. The six chapters of Part I of this volume trace the forms of livelihood, organization of production and exchange, the role of the state in economic development, the evolution of market institutions, and the emergence of trans-Eurasian trade from antiquity to 1000 CE. Part II, in twelve thematic chapters, spans the late imperial period from 1000 to 1800 and surveys diverse fields of economic history, including environment, demography, rural and urban development, factor markets, law, money, finance, philosophy, political economy, foreign trade, human capital, and living standards.
This chapter describes the moral and psychological ‘dilemmas’ of politicians, legal practitioners (like WTO lawyers, investment arbitrators) and businesses, driven all too often by self-interested utility maximization rather than by ‘inclusive, public reason’ accepting moral responsibility for reconciling all public and private interests on the basis of mutually agreed ‘principles of justice’ and human rights. It further illustrates these dilemmas by the US Trump administration’s neo-liberal, business-driven assault on UN and WTO law. It argues that power-politics and interest-group-politics underlying both neo-liberal and state-capitalist regulatory approaches undermine protection of human rights in IEL. It further describes the pragmatic ‘judicial common law approaches’ in WTO jurisprudence and investment adjudication, which focus on governmental rights to protect PGs (like public health, indigenous peoples’ rights, public morality, public order) and on agreed ‘constitutional principles of justice’ rather than on human rights. It concludes that Europe’s multilevel constitutionalism has better succeeded in ‘constitutionalizing’ common market law, the European Union’s (EU) external relations law and economic adjudication by protecting civil, political, economic and social rights within a ‘social market economy’ (article 3 of the Treaty on European Union [TEU]) embedded into ‘multilevel democratic constitutionalism’ and multilevel human rights law and adjudication.
Human rights do remain valid currency in how we approach planetary-scale computation and accompanying data flows. Today’s system of human rights protection, however, is highly dependent on domestic legal institutions, which unravel faster than the reconstruction of fitting transnational governance institutions.
The chapter takes a critical look at the construction of the data flow metaphor as a policy concept inside international trade law. Subsequently, it explores how the respect for human rights ties in with national constitutionalism that becomes increasingly challenged by the transnational dynamic of digital era transactions.
Lastly, the chapter turns to international trade law and why its ambitions to govern cross-border data flows will likely not advance efforts to generate respect for human rights. In conclusion, the chapter advocates for a rebalancing act that recognizes human rights inside international trade law.
The Common External Tariff (CET) of the East African Community (EAC) customs union has long been considered the cornerstone of the most successful example of regional integration in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we assess the implementation of the EAC-CET using a novel dataset of country- and firm-level deviations from the common tariff regime constructed by digitizing information in gazettes published by the Secretariat of the EAC between 2009 and 2019. Employing these data, we present five patterns on EAC tariff policy: (i) increased usage of country-level deviations from the common tariff regime render the EAC-CET less and less ‘common’; (ii) Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda predominantly use unilateral deviations to increase external protection while Rwanda mostly decreases tariffs; (iii) Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda increase tariffs for the same classes of products, but target different industries; (iv) unilateral tariff reductions at the country level are mostly used to facilitate access to inputs; (v) data on firm-level exemptions suggest that private sector development in the EAC would benefit from lower tariffs on intermediate inputs. Our findings demonstrate an incipient but clear trend in the EAC away from a communal tariff regime and towards national and more protectionist trade policies.
Canadian commitments under trade and investment treaties have been an ongoing concern for Indigenous peoples. The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is the first Canadian treaty to include a general exception for measures that a party state “deems necessary to fulfill its legal obligations to [I]ndigenous peoples.” This exception is likely to afford Canada broad, but not unlimited, discretion to determine what its legal obligations to Indigenous peoples require. There is a residual risk that Canada’s reliance on the exception could be challenged through the CUSMA dispute settlement process. A CUSMA panel would not have the expertise necessary to decide inevitably complex questions related to what Canada’s legal obligations to Indigenous peoples require. While state-to-state cases under the North American Free Trade Agreement have been rare, a CUSMA panel adjudication regarding the Indigenous general exception risks damaging consequences for Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.
Inclusive trade is taking hold in various forms in international organizations and in the trade policy of national governments. Absent empirical evidence that will take time to generate, it can be difficult to assess the achievements of this new approach to trade. Nancy Fraser's three justice idioms provide a conceptual entry point for evaluating the potential of the inclusive trade agenda. Fraser argues that the contemporary global justice conversation must acknowledge claims for recognition, representation, and redistribution. Applying this conceptualization to the inclusive trade agenda shows that trade agreement provisions intended to favor women and Indigenous peoples go some distance in addressing claims for recognition and representation but accomplish less in remedying injustices associated with maldistribution. Therefore, the inclusive trade agenda does significantly advance global justice for marginalized groups, but works primarily in ways that are political and cultural, not economic.
Early modern South East Asia can be characterized as a region of low population density, abundant natural resources, and high labour productivity in agriculture, where coastal areas were deeply involved in international trade, in particular with China and India. Available information on urban real wages indicates that in most parts of the region, living standards were well above Chinese and Indian levels until at least the mid-nineteenth century. The population growth observed throughout the region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries suggests also a strong resilience to climate shocks and wars. The main independent indigenous polities in the mainland and a few smaller ones in the archipelago reinforced their authority, legitimacy, and capacity. An increase or stability in the long run of per capita terms comprehensive wealth, which is the total value of natural, human, and physical (i.e. produced) capital stocks divided by total population, would imply a sustainable economic transformation. The general trends that can be observed suggest that this was the case in early modern South East Asia.
This chapter describes broad regional and temporal trends in the evolution of international trade and international factor flows between 1700 and 1870, including key differences in trade costs across space and time. We find trade links in western Europe and the European colonies of North America intensified at the same time these regions experienced the initial Industrial Revolution and the spread of industrialization, which led to sustained economic growth. At the same time, global differences in specialization and income emerged. To understand the contribution of global market forces as well as colonialism to these differences, the chapter lays out theoretical reasons for links between trade and economic growth and examines related historical arguments and evidence. We conclude that trade contributed to global divergence, but the magnitude and mechanisms through which trade affected global welfare lies not so much in the direct impact of trade and specialization as in multiplier effects emerging from the interactions of trade with other factors that affect economic development.
Global supply chains connect the world in unprecedented and intricate ways. Geopolitics, Supply Chains, and International Relations in East Asia dissects the sources and effects of contemporary disruptions of these networks. Despite their dramatic expansion as distinct, complex, and unique mechanisms of economic interdependence, the role of supply chains in broader patterns of interstate conflict and cooperation has been relatively neglected. This volume sheds light on whether a highly interdependent “Factory Asia” and Asia-Pacific can withstand geopolitical, geo-economic, and pandemic threats. This combustible mix, fueled by rising hyper-nationalism in the US and China, threatens to unleash sizable disruptions in the global geography of production and in the international relations of East Asia.
As all chapters were being readied for submission, Covid-19 erupted furiously in early 2020, compelling the effort to incorporate the pandemic’s initial effects on GSCs, the trade and technology war, and international relations within East Asia, in real time. Chapter 13 is, therefore, a postscript distilling findings from Parts I and II prior to Covid-19 while addressing the latter’s early effects on the chapters’ respective arguments. It then analyzes the strategies GSCs have embarked on in response to both geopolitical and pandemic shocks, building largely on preliminary 2020 survey data. Covid-19 accelerated the cumulative impact of geopolitical shocks and rising inward-oriented hyper-nationalist models, making GSCs more vulnerable than at any time since their initial expansion in the 1990s. Their ongoing restructuring and efforts to reduce overreliance on China suggest a potential decline in China’s status as factory of the world relative to the past, but hardly its demise. Migration out of China and reshoring remain more the anomaly than the norm for now. There is still uncertainty, however, as to whether geopolitics, technological competition, and the legacy of Covid-19 could unleash even more sizable disruptions in the global geography of production.
Chapter 1 introduces the broader framework for the volume and its place in the broader literature on the relationship between economic interdependence and international cooperation and conflict. It draws attention to the deeper political origins of GSCs in the grand strategies of outward-oriented political survival models and identifies some of the pivotal questions regarding the broader role of GSCs in the international relations of East Asia. A focus on GSCs is especially pertinent to our world time as East Asia faces the most complex bundle of geopolitical and geo-economic threats in decades. This provides a natural experiment of sorts for gauging the extent to which GSCs may provide a more resilient foundation for interstate cooperation than older forms of interdependence have at various historical junctures or, alternatively, whether they amount to equally vulnerable targets of nationalistic and autarkic ambitions, inward-looking turns in the US and China, the trade and technology war, and other geopolitical shocks from within the region. Finally, the chapter introduces the rest of the volume, with different chapters addressing various dimensions of the relationship between GSCs and changing features of East Asian and Asia-Pacific international relations.
The chapter presents an economy-wide modeling framework that enables analyzing the direct and indirect impacts of policy interventions on sectors in the economy. The chapter reviews studies that model various policy interventions aimed at improving water allocation decisions within an economy-wide context. It focuses on the “macro-micro linkage” framework that facilitates assessment of various linkages among policies and their impacts within individual sectors and on the entire economy. Drawing on country-based studies in Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, and Mexico, the analysis reveals trade-offs among various policy objectives, including priorities placed on different sectors, regional advantages, and general economic efficiency gains versus broader social impacts.
What motivates politicians and political parties to shift their positioning on an issue? Focusing on the case of trade policy in countries with advanced economies and plurality electoral systems, I argue that the relative positioning of parties on an existing issue can change even when the preferences of the key actors (voters and politicians) are held constant, and even when party leaders continue to represent the same constituencies. In advanced plurality countries, college-educated voters support free trade, and high-density constituencies are predominantly represented by Left incumbents. As college-educated workers migrate to high-density constituencies in pursuit of higher wages, Left incumbents increasingly embrace free trade, while Right incumbents take more protectionist positions. I provide empirical support for several observable implications of my theory.
What explains the design of international institutions? Existing research has largely neglected how experience in cooperation in one set of international institutions impacts on design choices made by states in other globally-oriented institutions. We contribute to this evolving debate by analyzing spillovers in experience in international trade. We argue that countries' track record of interaction in multilateral trade disputes affects the design of their preferential trade agreements (PTAs). If a country participates in a complaint against a prospective PTA partner at the World Trade Organization (WTO), the challenge in Geneva alerts the defendant's import-competing industries with respect to potential challenges under the planned PTA. As a result, these industries exert pressure on their government to preserve leeway under the future treaty, leading to increased flexibility and a lower level of enforcement in the PTA. We find support for our hypotheses in an empirical analysis of 347 PTAs concluded post 1990.
In this chapter of our book, we investigate the effect of the CPSU legacy on the economic performance of Russian regions. We use a broad catalogue of indicators, looking at the economic growth, foreign trade (both the overall volume and the geographic orientation) and innovation activity of Russian firms, measured by patent applications and the number of issued patents. We find that the CPSU legacy does not affect economic growth. However, it has an influence on the innovation activity of Russian firms. In regions with larger CPSU membership in the past, firms are characterized by lower innovation activity. Again, this is most likely linked to the persistence of Soviet bureaucratic practices.
In 2004, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan signed the Agadir Agreement (AA), a free trade agreement with intention of encouraging closer cooperation in trade. The AA came into force in 2007 and relies on the EU's rules of origin. Contrary to existing explanations, which suggest that the little impact of the AA on intraregional trade is a result of the local political elites in the agreement and of weak state institutions, this article amends the concept of isomorphic mimicry to shed some light on the ineffectiveness of the AA. It claims that instead of acting as a vehicle for regional integration, the AA generated two capability traps: premature load bearing and the reproduction of the structural weaknesses of Arab Mediterranean economies. As a result, the AA does not act as an instrument of intraregional cooperation and inclusive growth.
This paper applies machine learning to recreate to a high degree of accuracy the OECD's Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) to provide quantitative evidence on the restrictiveness of services policies in 2016 for a sample of developing countries, using regulatory data collected by the World Bank and WTO. Resulting estimates are used to extend the OECD STRI approach to 23 additional countries, producing what we term a Services Policy Index (SPI). Converting the SPI to ad valorem equivalent terms shows that services policies are typically much more restrictive than tariffs on imports of goods, in particular in professional services and telecommunications. The SPI has strong explanatory power for bilateral trade in services at the sectoral level, as well as for aggregate goods and services trade.