HKS Affiliated Authors


December 12, 2023, Book Chapter: "Safeguards which allow temporary protection in the face of injurious import surges should play a more important role in the trading system. They encourage trade liberalization by offering insurance against unexpected disruptions. They also allow for rules-based protection that can help countries deal with their most serious adjustment challenges. They could also facilitate trade even if countries fail to agree on the vexed question of what constitutes fair trade. However, the current WTO rules and the way they are interpreted have made implementing safeguards almost impossible for developed countries and proposals for changing these rules are noticeably absent in most discussions of WTO reform. This paper argues that reformulated safeguard rules could be an important component of a rules-based trading system that steers between two extremes. One is “deep integration” in which all WTO members are expected to adhere all rules and the other is “decoupling” in which groups of countries centered on the US and China limit trade with each other. Instead, the system should have a variable geometry that can accommodate plurilateral agreements by members that desire deeper integration while facilitating trade among all members by having common rules that deal with the most harmful systemic frictions but allow scope for differentiated domestic policies for countries that prefer them." Read Via Edwin Elgar Publishing