The Department of Government
The Department of Government

International Relations Speaker Series- Sarah Bermeo (Duke University)

Trade and Development: Industrialized Country Preferences for Free Trade Agreements over the WTO

Wed, February 19, 2020 | BAT 5.108

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

International Relations Speaker Series- Sarah Bermeo (Duke University)

Abstract: The number of reciprocal trade agreements between industrialized and developing countries has been increasing in recent decades. The motivations of industrialized countries are not well explained by existing political economy theories. Instead, they are better understood by incorporating the desire of an industrialized state to use trade as a form of development promotion in states where underdevelopment generates negative spillovers for the industrialized country. This suggests that industrialized states will prefer targeted, bilateral or regional efforts for pursuing development through trade, rather than large multinational agreements in which they are required to offer the same concessions to all developing countries regardless of the impact of underdevelopment on themselves. The paper draws on the case of CAFTA-DR and a large-N empirical study of industrialized-developing dyads to demonstrate that the pattern of trade agreements is best understood by incorporating a concern for development externalities.

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