DP1044 Central European Countries' Trade Laws in the Light of International Experience

Author(s): Patrick Messerlin
Publication Date: November 1994
Keyword(s): CECs, Contingent Protection, Trade Policy
JEL(s): F13
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=1044

Why did it take only a couple of years for the CECs' ostensibly liberal trade regimes to be so much undermined by piecemeal protectionism? First, CEC trade policies were based on the wrong belief that regional disciplines were a good substitute for non-discriminatory world-wide disciplines. Second, CEC trade laws ignore the potential substitutability between instruments of protection - an issue particularly acute in the case of contingent protection (antidumping, safeguard, and antisubsidy). If a CEC government wants to adopt contingent protection laws, national laws should do more than incorporate all the GATT provisions. The paper reviews a few suggestions, including the replacement of all the existing contingent protection under the Europe Agreements with the more economically sound Treaty of Rome Articles 91 and 92-93. By signing these batches of the Treaty of Rome, the CECs will become immediate (yet partial) members of the Community - an important political step.