2,458 research outputs found

    Poor people's knowledge : helping poor people to earn from their knowledge

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    How can we help poor people to earn more from their knowledge rather than from their sweat and muscle? This paper draws lessons from projects intended to promote and protect the innovation, knowledge, and creative skills of poor people in poor countries, particularly to improve the earnings of poor people from such knowledge and skills. The international community has paid considerable attention to problems associated with intellectual property that poor countries buy-such as the increased cost of pharmaceuticals brought on by the WTO's agreement on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS). This paper is about the other half of the development-intellectual property link. It is about the knowledge poor people own, create, and sell rather than about what they buy. The paper calls attention to a broad range of poor people's knowledge that has commercial potential. It highlights the incentives for and concerns of poor people-which may be different from those of corporate research, northern nongovernmental organizations, or even entertainment stars from developing countries who already enjoy an international audience. The studies find that increased earnings is sometimes a matter of poor people acquiring commercial skills. Legal reform, though often necessary, is frequently not sufficient. Moreover, the paper concludes that the need for novel legal approaches to protect traditional knowledge has been overemphasized. Standard instruments such as patents and copyrights are often effective. Rather than legal innovation, there is a need for economic and political empowerment of poor people so that they have the skills to use such instruments and the influence to insist that institutional structures respond to their interests. Finally, the paper concludes that there is minimal conflict between culture and commerce. There are many income-earning expressions of culture, and it is incorrect to presume that expressions of culture must always be income-using.Cultural Heritage&Preservation,Environmental Economics&Policies,Arts&Music,Public Health Promotion,Cultural Policy,Environmental Economics&Policies,Cultural Heritage&Preservation,Arts&Music,Cultural Policy,Health Monitoring&Evaluation

    Economists, institutions, and trade restrictions : a review article

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    A review article on the work of"practitioners of contemporary economic analysis of trade restrictions", this report focuses on three questions : a) are there holes in the case of free trade? B) Why are trade restrictions imposed, and c) how do US policy actions and those of other nations interact ? On the first question, though difficult to identify when there is profit to be captured by trade intervention and to design an appropriate trade intervention policy, capturing a strategic sector and economic rents is important to equity holders without necessarily being of much significance to the economy as a whole. Further, on trade restrictions, these are often aimed at non economic objectives, since economic sanctions tend to be used only when other instruments fail. As for the interaction of US policy actions versus other nations, they are a manifestation of protectionist legislation in the US Congress and perhaps indictments against GATT as wrong headed.TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT,Environmental Economics&Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Rules of Origin,Trade Policy

    GATT experience with safeguards - making economic and political sense of the possibilities that the GATT allows to restrict imports

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    Realizing that trade liberalization would require periodic adjustments because of problems in particular industries, GATT's framers provided that tariff reductions that led to such problems could be renegotiated; in an emergency a country could raise its tariff first and negotiate compensation with the principal exporting countries later. GATT lists many provisions that allow import restrictions, provisions that, over time, have proven quite fungible. Renegotiations were replaced by negotiated quantitative restraints (VERs), which were replaced by antidumping. The problem (troublesome imports) was always the same, but the instruments changed. And none of the instruments made much political or economic sense. They did not help a government isolate those import restrictions for which the benefits to the domestic economy would exceed the costs. And politically, the procedures through which renegotiations, VERs, or antidumping actions are decided provide a public tribune for interests that would benefit from protection but provide no voice for domestic interests thatwould bear the costs of restricted access to imports. The author offers guidelines for a safeguards process that makes more economic and political sense: A) Identify the costs and losers as well as the benefits and winners. B) Be clear that the action is an exception to the principles underlying the liberalization program. Emphasize that too many such exceptions would constitute abandonment of the liberalization program and its benefits. Included in the investigation process should be an expression of the costs the proposed restriction would impose. C) Don't sanctify the criteria for the action. Procedures should not presume, as antidumping does, that there is some good reason for granting exceptions. Providing a list of good reasons invites protection-seekers to demonstrate that they qualify and places the government in the position of having to demonstrate that they do not. Procedures should stress that the function of the review is to identify the benefits, costs, and domestic winners and losers from the action requested.Common Carriers Industry,Globalization and Financial Integration,Environmental Economics&Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Rules of Origin,Rules of Origin,TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT,Globalization and Financial Integration,Economic Theory&Research,Environmental Economics&Policies

    A rock and a hard place : the two faces of U.S. trade policy toward Korea

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    U.S. trade policy since the 1980s has been quite different from trade policy in the first two or three decades after World War II. Until the 1970s, U.S.trade policy was dominated by systematic concerns. Trade policy actions were subject to the disciplines of constructing an open, stable, and nondiscriminatory system. In contrast, for the past 10 or 15 years the main objective of trade policy actions has been to respond to the demands of various domestic constituents for greater access to foreign markets or for reduced foreign access to the U.S. market. When systemic concerns were strong, they helped discipline the actions the U.S. government would take to advance the interest of a particular constituent. But now, these constituent-supporting actions are U.S. trade policy. To state the same point another way, the current objective of U.S. trade"policy"is to respond to each constituent's plea for the application of this or that regulatory instrument (antidumping,"301,"and so on) - to respond in a way that will win that constituent's vote."Policy"is now no more than a generic label for the accumulation of these responses. The author describes the accumulation of these responses. He tabulates U.S. trade actions in the 1980s, paying particular attention to actions against Korea. While Korean economic interests were advanced by restrictions on Korea's and other countries'exports of steel to the United States and the European Union (EU), the outcome, judged globally, was probably negative. Rent transfers to Korean and other exporters are, on a global basis, transfers from U.S. and EU users, and hence net to zero. That leaves only the efficiency effects, which is estimated to add up to a global loss of about $36 million a year, based on process and the size of the industry in 1984. The underlying theme, says the author, is that these actions have no unifying discipline except to respond in a politically acceptable way to constituent pressures. These are responses to the politics and economics of specific situations, not the automatic or hands-off extension of nondiscriminatory standards that the still-popular rhetoric of a"rules-based"system would suggest.TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT,Environmental Economics&Policies,Trade Policy,Rules of Origin,Economic Theory&Research

    Do rules control power? GATT articles and arrangements in the Uruguay Round

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    Many complain and offer evidence that in recent years the GATT system has become more power-oriented, less stable, and less equitable. A concern to reverse this drift was one of the motives that brought the international community to agree to undertake the Uruguay Round. Rules control power, assumed the signers of the Punte del Este declaration, therefore elaborating and extending GATT rules would move the international community toward a fairer, more stable international trading system. Finger and Dhar contend that the opposite is true. Particularly in the 1980s, the elaboration and application of GATT rules has been an exercise in the application of economic and political power, not in its control. GATT rules, in theory, are there to limit national trade restrictions. Finger and Dhar contend that in fact things work the other way around: national practice comes first, and determines what the GATT rules mean. GATT's rules do not put limits on national practices, but provide international santion for these practices. Such rules are not part of the thereforelution but are part of the problem. Theirs is a situation-specific argument, say Finger and Dhar, not a generic one. Their target is not"rules", nor is it"GATT". Rather, it is the GATT rules.Rules of Origin,TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT,Common Carriers Industry,Transport and Trade Logistics,Trade Policy

    Implementation of Ururguay Round commitments : the development challenge

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    At the Uruguay Round, developing countries took on unprecedented obligations not only to reduce trade barriers, but to implement significant reforms both of trade procedures, e.g., import licensing procedures, customs valuation and of many areas of regulation that establish the basic business environment in the domestic economy, e.g., technical, sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), intellectual property law. Implementing such reforms are investment decisions in that implementation will require purchase of equipment, training of people, establishment of systems of checks and balances, etc. This will cost money and the amounts of money involved are substantial. Based on World Bank project experience in the areas covered by the agreements, an entire year's development budget is at stake in many of the least developed countries. Least developed country institutions in these areas are weak, and would benefit from strengthening and reform. However, the authors'analysis indicates that the World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations reflect little awareness of development problems and little appreciation of the capacities of the least developed countries to carry out the functions that SPS, customs valuation, intellectual property, etc. regulations address. The content of these obligations can be characterized as the advanced countries saying to the others,"Do it my way!"The authors touch at the beginning on another important point. Because of their limited capacity to participate in the Uruguay Round negotiations, the WTO process has generated no sense of"ownership"of the reforms to which WTO membership obligates them. From their perspective, the implementation exercise has been imposed in an imperial way, with little concern for what it will cost, how it will be done, or if it will support their development efforts.Economic Theory&Research,Judicial System Reform,Rules of Origin,Environmental Economics&Policies,Customs Administration,Economic Theory&Research,Rules of Origin,Trade and Regional Integration,Environmental Economics&Policies,Customs Administration

    Market access advances and retreats : the Uruguay Round and beyond

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    In the Uruguay Round negotiations, trade distorting agricultural policies were taken up substantively for the first time in any round of multi-lateral trade negotiations. Voluntary export restraints outside the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) were in fact eliminated. Developing countries became equal partners with developed countries. Their tariff cuts covered as large a share of imports as those of the developed countries and were deeper. Because developing country tariffs were higher to start with, their cuts will save importers more (perdollar of imports covered) than will cuts by developed countries. Tariff bindings for most developing countries, although often above applied rates, were extended to 90 percent or more of imports. Few countries agreed to give foreigners unlimited market access in services, or full national treatment in more than a few service activities. But developed countries agreed to some liberalization of cross-border provision for 70 percent of service activities (compared with 25 percent in developing countries). Less positively, although trade restrictions on agricultural products were converted to tariffs, border protection was reduced less on agricultural than on industrial products, and there was little agreement on reducing trade-affecting subsidies. The textiles and clothing agreement binds developed countries to eliminate all MFA-sanctioned restriction but allows them to largely put off doing so until 2005. Concessions to which developing countries agreed are due now. Reciprocal concessions of particular interest are due in the future (elimination of the MFA) or yet to be negotiated (liberalization of agricultural trade). Also disquieting, since the Uruguay Round, developing countries have undertaken anti-dumping cases at a rate (per dollar of imports) three times higher than that for the United States--mostly against other developing countries.Economic Theory&Research,Rules of Origin,Export Competitiveness,Environmental Economics&Policies,Globalization and Financial Integration,TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT,Environmental Economics&Policies,Rules of Origin,Export Competitiveness,World Trade Organization

    The MFA Paradox: More Protection and More Trade?

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    The textile industry's political power stemmed from its importance in southern states plus the power of the Southern delegation in the U.S. Congress in the 1960s. The strongest resistance to the industry's pressure for protection came from the foreign policy interests of the Executive branch. A constellation of influences explains why negotiated, or voluntary export restraints (VERs), sanctioned by international agreements (the Multi-Fiber Arrangement) was the form protection took. First, the Japanese industry, at the time the world's leading textile exporter, already in the 1930s had exhibited a willingness to accept negotiated agreements to trade disputes. Second, the U.S. Executive, having been a leader in establishing the GATT system to control the sort of unilateral restrictive actions that contributed to the 1930s depression, was reluctant to take unilateral action. Third, the arrangement was acceptable to the U.S. industry because, through their particular power over agricultural legislation, the Southern delegation won passage, as amendments to agriculture bills, of legislation to enforce these 'voluntary' restraints at the U.S. border. But because enforcement remained with the Executive branch, it tended to follow the letter of the agreements, hence exports could continue to expand by shifting to new product varieties and to new supplier countries.
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