Impact of WTO Accession and the Customs Union on the Bound and Applied Tariff Rates of the Russian Federation
34 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2012
After 18 years of negotiations, Russia has joined the World Trade Organization. This paper assesses how the tariff structure of the Russian Federation will change as a result of the phased implementation of its World Trade Organization commitments between 2012 and 2020 and how it has changed as a result of its agreement to participate in a Customs Union with Kazakhstan and Belarus. The analysis uses trade data at the ten digit level, which allows the first accurate assessment of the impact of these policy changes. It finds that World Trade Organization commitments will progressively and significantly lower the applied tariffs of the Russian Federation. After all commitments are implemented, tariffs will fall from 11.5 percent to 7.9 percent on an un-weighted average basis, or from 13.0 percent to 5.8 percent on a weighted average basis. The average "bound" tariff rate of Russia under its World Trade Organization commitments will be 8.6 percent, that is, 0.7 percentage points higher than the applied tariffs. Russia's commitments represent significant tariff liberalization, but compared with other countries that have acceded to the World Trade Organization, the commitments of the Russian Federation are not unusual, especially when compared with the Transition countries.
Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, Trade Policy, Free Trade, Export Competitiveness, Debt Markets
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