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Rules of origin in North-South preferential trade agreements

Angeli, Marietta (2022) Rules of origin in North-South preferential trade agreements. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004542


The study of North-South trade agreements, their policy design and the negotiations that shape them, contains a knowledge gap on Rules of Origin (ROO). ROO regulate which goods get to benefit from preferential market access and prevent tariff fraud. In their simplest form, ROO are domestic content requirements but have mushroomed to create thousands of complex hurdles to preferential trade. This thesis fills this knowledge gap. The introduction contextualises the role of ROO in North-South trade agreements. Chapter 1 presents a comprehensive dataset on ROO design across trade agreements, the first of its kind, responding to a call for better public data on ROO issues from academics and policy makers alike. Chapter 2 applies this data to advance the debate around negotiation outcomes in North-South PTAs. The chapter applies novel metrics to show that the transition from GSP to PTA can lead to significant changes in the usability of trade preferences, but that these changes differ depending on the GSP donor and sector. These findings evidence that, in contrast to common characterisations in the literature, ROO are far from a blanket market access barrier. Instead, ROO design changes depending on who is negotiating what. The third chapter contributes to the discussion of possible drivers of negotiation outcomes, using primary and secondary evidence to better understand the actors and interests that influence ROO design and its variation. The findings suggest that ROO can be negotiated to achieve a variety of policy objectives beyond preventing tariff fraud, and second, that their complexity can often hamper their effective negotiation. Chapter 4 concludes with a look ahead on future research questions and policy conclusions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2022 Marietta Angeli
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Sets: Departments > International Development
Supervisor: Shadlen, Kenneth C.

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