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Too early to cry wolf

Abstract : The WTO used the term 'significant slippage' to qualify changes in protection during Fall 2008 and Winter 2009. Most newspapers translated these terms into 'rise of protectionism. ' Evoking such a rise is premature. It is crucial to address this statement because it offers a huge tactical advantage to protectionist interests. First, it makes it much more difficult for governments to push for more liberalization when everybody else is - allegedly - busy raising protection. Second, since nothing bad will flow from such a 'rise of protection' (since there is none) protectionist lobbies can claim that raising protection does not have the dire effects that economists predict, and they will quickly ask for more protection (...).
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Patrick Messerlin. Too early to cry wolf. Evenett, Simon J., Cattaneo, Olivier, Hoekman, Bernard M. The fateful allure of protectionism: Taking stock for the G8, Centre for Economic Policy Research, pp.15-16, 2009. ⟨hal-01053635⟩



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