Political Economy of Russian Trade Policy: Early Transition, Customs Unions, WTO Accession and Protection for Industrial Diversification
19 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2009 Last revised: 9 Jan 2019
Date Written: April 29, 2009
This paper discusses the political economy behind the principal trade policy decisions in Russia since independence. I discuss why export restraints were widely employed in the early transition years and why the export quotas proved more difficult to remove than anticipated. Why it was so difficult to resolve the monetary basis for the collapse in trade among the newly independent states. Why the search for rents for Russian industry motivated the creation of a customs union among selected countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, but also proved its undoing. How Russian leaders initially were exceptionally insightful in seeing WTO accession as a golden opportunity for domestic reform, but why in recent years they have turned to industrial policy for diversification. I discuss the possibly unique political economy of Russia in which political contributions are extracted without political influence.
Keywords: political economy, trade policy, Russia, diversification, transition, customs union, WTO accession
JEL Classification: F13, F14, F15, K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation