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Preferential Trade Agreements: An Insurance Against Protectionism?
  • Mia Mikic, United Nations ESCAP
  • Melanie Ramjoue

The financial crisis and ensuing recession has ignited a world-wide debate as to the need for, and danger resulting from, measures enacted to protect national markets. This note will examine provisions of WTO agreements and ommon preferential trade agreements (PTAs) relevant to the spread of (new) protectionism. We argue that policymakers in the Asia-Pacific region may have less space for protectionist policies than they may wish due to the binding nature of their PTA commitments. Moreover, this note will argue that in circumstances of severe economic turmoil such as the current crisis, PTAs could better serve as shieldsagainst protectionist practices if they included government procurement liberalization disciplines or if countries were signatories of the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).

  • preferential trade agreements,
  • protectionism,
  • government procurement,
  • economic crisis
Publication Date
February, 2009
Citation Information
Mia Mikic and Melanie Ramjoue. "Preferential Trade Agreements: An Insurance Against Protectionism?" (2009)
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