The Political Economy of Nontariff Trade Barriers in Emerging Economies

By Drope, Jeffrey M. | Political Research Quarterly, September 2007 | Go to article overview

The Political Economy of Nontariff Trade Barriers in Emerging Economies


Drope, Jeffrey M., Political Research Quarterly


This article examines the counterpoint to recent economic reform programs: policies that potentially defy the reform process. Policy "reversal" is particularly evident in the area of trade liberalization where nations reduced tariffs while simultaneously introducing nontariff barriers (NTB), particularly the widespread antidumping (AD) measure. This research seeks to identify the determinants of these new "postliberalization" trade policies by combining dominant interest group approaches with more state-centered explanations in an examination of two vigorous NTB users, South Africa and Mexico. The results of nested probit analyses suggest that private interests dominate the process in Mexico, while both interests and the state's overall strategic development objectives shape trade policy outcomes in South Africa.

Keywords: economic reform; Mexico; nontariff barrier; South Africa; trade policy

In the final decades of the twentieth century, many developing nations initiated and realized marketoriented economic reform. One cornerstone of the reform process was trade liberalization, and average tariff rates dropped considerably. Yet as tariff rates decreased, the provision of trade protection through nontariff barriers (NTBs) has continued to increase markedly throughout the developing world. While scholarship has focused on the paths to and the effects of reform, we know very little about the important and perhaps surprising counterpoint to these programs - nations' actions to slow or even reverse processes of economic restructuring. What are the determinants of the recent "reregulation" of trade policy? Utilizing a theoretical framework that emphasizes the roles of both powerful interest groups and the state, this research seeks to answer this question by examining trade policy implementation in South Africa and Mexico, which have recently become among the most vigorous users of NTBs in the world.

An important theoretical debate exists between scholars emphasizing how interests influence the implementation of major economic policy and others who suggest that the state may play a more active role in shaping policy outcomes. Trade researchers in particular have tended to privilege society-centered approaches that emphasize the role of interest groups in policy making. Moreover, there is a widespread perception in the era of economic reform that the policy implementation options open to governments are increasingly limited as the state's active role is strongly discouraged and perhaps even punished by international financial institutions, other powerful national governments, and/or private creditors. While the extant research reflects a bias toward interests' role in conditioning policy implementation across the globe, the role of the state may be underestimated, particularly in large emerging economies. Anecdotal evidence suggests strongly that some governments play more proactive "developmental" roles. By integrating these theoretical literatures, we can determine if these new nontariff policies are much more than just rents paid by the highest or most powerful bidders, particularly in the early years after initial economic restructuring.

The rise of NTUs as a possible counterpoint to trade liberalization is best illustrated by the recent widespread use of the antidumping (AD) measure. Until recently a rarely utilized NTB outside of a handful of developed nations, these measures now affect tens of billions of dollars in trade each year in both developed and developing nations, equal to roughly one-quarter of worldwide imports (Hindley and Messerlin 1996; Niels 2000). Recent scholarship has underscored both AD's new status as a significant barrier to trade and how little we know about these policies in the developing world (Mankiw and Swagel 2005; Prusa 2005). Furthermore, developing nations have recently become the most vigorous users of these measures, and this research addresses directly the puzzle of who or what is shaping AD policy in emerging economies in the postliberalization era. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Political Economy of Nontariff Trade Barriers in Emerging Economies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.