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Investigación económica

versão impressa ISSN 0185-1667

Inv. Econ vol.62 no.244 México Abr./Jun. 2003

 

Artículos

The relative impact of trade liberalization on developing countries

El impacto relativo de la liberalización comercial en los países en desarrollo

Mark Weisbrot* 

Dean Baker* 

* Co-Directors of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), USA. E-mail: CEPR@CEPR.NET


Abstract:

This paper sets out to initiate reflection upon the real costs of trade agreements. The authors believe that it is necessary to deflate grossly exaggerated claims about the benefits of trade. They establish that very little would be gained if rich countries dismantled all their barriers to exports originating from developing countries. In fact many developing countries would no longer benefit from a fixed export volume sold at prices above competitive levels; trade terms would worsen; and agricultural exports subsidies would be lost forever. Bearing this in mind, these countries would risk their socio-political stability as a result of large-scale migrations of the rural population. Further liberalization would amount to costs as yet unconsidered, such as the dire fiscal strait-jacket that would be required by countries losing income from tariffs; the costs of the recent TRIPS provision within the WTO; and the opportunity-cost of holding the exchange reserves that the developing nations would require to guarantee their macro-economic stability.

Resumen:

Este artículo intenta una reflexión sobre el costo real de la liberalización comercial. Los autores creen que es necesario rebajar las pretensiones enormemente exageradas de los beneficios del comercio. Ellos establecen que muy poco se ganaría si los países ricos desmantelaran todas sus barreras a las exportaciones provenientes de países en desarrollo. En efecto, muchos países en desarrollo no se beneficiarían demasiado de un volumen de exportaciones fijo vendido a precios superiores a los del mercado; los términos del intercambio empeorarían; y los subsidios a las exportaciones agrícolas se perderían para siempre. Teniendo esto en mente, esos países arriesgarían su estabilidad socio-política como un resultado de grandes migraciones de la población rural. Una liberalización más en profundidad acarrearía costos, aún no considerados, como la restricción fiscal que requerirían los países, al perder ingreso por tarifas; los costos de la reciente provisión de TRIPS dentro de la Organización Mundial de Comercio, y el costo de oportunidad del mantenimiento de reservas de divisas que las naciones en desarrollo pueden requerir como garantía de su estabilidad macroeconómica.

JEL Classification: F1, F13, F14, F22.

Texto completo disponible sólo en PDF

Full text available only in PDF format

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Received: August 2002; Accepted: October 2002

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