Preferential Trade Agreements

How Much Do They Benefit Developing Economies?

This report aims to answer two major questions: (1) How beneficial are the trade preferences provided to developing countries; and (2) what are the implications of possible erosion of these benefits under multilateral trade liberalisation? The report focuses on trade preferences provided by the so-called Quad countries (Canada, the European Union, Japan and the United States) because they have some of the world’s highest tariffs on agricultural commodities. Findings from this study suggest that although preferential margins will be eroded with multilateral liberalisation, this may be a problem only for certain countries and within specific sectors, and that factors not related to preferential trade schemes may be limiting the exports of the least-developed countries (LDC).