Greening the WTO EGA, Tariff Concessions and Policy Likeness

23 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2019

See all articles by Petros C. Mavroidis

Petros C. Mavroidis

Columbia University - Law School; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW); European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Damien J Neven

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

This paper considers the APEC and EGA agreements which grant tariff concession through HS classifications beyond the six digit level ("ex outs") in favour of "green" goods and discuss how these initiatives fit into the WTO legal regime. Even if the practical significance of the APEC agreement should not be overestimated as it involves modest tariff concessions over a subset of goods which are not heavily traded, these agreements involve a paradigm shift to the extent that they use tariffs concessions negotiated on a plurilateral basis as a policy instrument to meet public policy concern, instead of making market access conditional on meeting national regulations. We find that there is a tension between the current definition of likeness for the enforcement of MFN provisions and the use of ex outs and a risk that improved market access for ex outs could be seen a de facto discrimination. One way out of this conundrum is to define likeness in terms of policy rationales.

Keywords: WTO, APEC, EGA, Tariffs, Terms of Trade, ex outs

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Mavroidis, Petros C. and Neven, Damien J, Greening the WTO EGA, Tariff Concessions and Policy Likeness (January 2019). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2019/07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3330602 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3330602

Petros C. Mavroidis (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

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Damien J Neven

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

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