• Journal of International Trade Law and Policy

Publisher:
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Publication date:
2011-12-21
ISBN:
1477-0024

Latest documents

  • Do EU and US GSPs matter for the cotton and textiles products exports of Pakistan?

    Purpose
 This study aims to estimate and compare the effect of EU and US GSP schemes on the cotton and textile sectors of Pakistan.
 Design/methodology/approach
 The analysis used data from 2003 to 2014 for all the 14 categories of cotton and textile products at two-digit using HS commodity classification. Effects of the EU and US GSPs are estimated using a gravity trade model.
 Findings
 Both the concessions are statistically significant determinants of wadding and nonwoven special yarn, articles of apparel-knitted, articles of apparel-not-knitted and made-up textiles sectors. In the rest of the sectors, the results are a mix. Among these, EU GSP is a statistically significant determinant of wool and animal hair and manmade filaments yarn exports, while the US GSP is important for the exports of cotton yarn and woven fabrics, manmade staple fibers, carpets, impregnated fiber and knitted or crocheted fabrics.
 Originality/value
 The research contributes in two major ways. First, it estimates the effects of EU and US GSPs on the textile sector of Pakistan while controlling for the effect of tariffs. Second, the study tests joint hypotheses about the role of EU and US GSPs in the cotton and textile products exports of Pakistan.

  • Using dispute settlement partnerships for capacity building. Bangladesh’s triumphant experience at WTO DSU

    Purpose
 World Trade Organisation grants rights to its members, and WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) provides a rule-oriented consultative and judicial mechanism to protect these rights in cases of WTO-incompatible trade infringements. However, the DSU participation benefits come at a cost. These costs are acutely formidable for least developing countries (LDCs) which have small market size and trading stakes. No LDC has ever filed a WTO compliant, with the only exception of India-Battery dispute filed by Bangladesh against India. This paper aims to look at the experience of how Bangladesh - so far the only LDC member that has filed a formal WTO complaint - persuaded India to withdraw anti-dumping duties India had imposed on the import of acid battery from Bangladesh.
 Design/methodology/approach
 The investigation is grounded on practically informed findings gathered through authors’ work experience and several semi-structured interviews and discussions which the authors have conducted with government representatives from Bangladesh, government and industry representatives from other developing countries, trade lawyers and officials based in Geneva and Brussels, and civil society organisations.
 Findings
 The discussion provides a sound indication of the participation impediments that LDCs can face at WTO DSU and the ways in which such challenges can be overcome with the help of resources available at the domestic level. It also exemplifies how domestic laws and practices can respond to international legal instruments and impact the performance of an LDC at an international adjudicatory forum.
 Originality/value
 Except one book chapter and a working paper, there is no literature available on this matter. This investigation is grounded on practically informed findings gathered with the help of original empirical research conducted by the authors.

  • Trading with India: some current impediments for Pakistan

    Purpose
 This study aims to examine the possible gains and challenges for the enhancement of bilateral trade ties between India and Pakistan. It is interested specifically in analyzing and deliberating an attempt to identify the key challenges and bottlenecks in cross-border trade.
 Design/methodology/approach
 This paper offers in-depth case study of trade between India and Pakistan using time-series data and through various stake holders' interviews. As further discussed in the paper, the data investigation and interviews highlight impediments in India-Pakistan trade from trade policy to other policies involved in this process.
 Findings
 Based on time series data and stakeholders’ interviews, the study concludes that poor trade logistics and abysmal transport infrastructure, high tariffs and non-tariff measures, lengthy customary procedures, heavy import duties, port restrictions, lack of appropriate storage facilities, strict visa regime, financial transaction barriers and lack of telecommunication facilities are the major challenges in the way of regional trade.
 Originality/value
 The study proposes some key reforms and policy measures to boost the formal trade to minimize the trade obstacles such as public-private partnerships and inclusion of private sector in a joint trade commission to strength the business relations between the two countries.

  • The Portuguese intellectual property box: issues in designing investment incentives

    Purpose
 The purpose of this paper is to discuss tax and accounting issues related to the evolution of the intellectual property box in Portugal and present a preliminary view of its impact. In 2014, Portugal adopted an Intellectual Property (IP) box, exempting from corporate taxation half of the gross revenue obtained from selling IP rights. In 2016, the country adopted a new IP regime, in line with BEPS’ recommendations, with stricter rules for exempting income. The “modified nexus approach”, recommended by the OECD, was the cornerstone of legal changes. The research questions addressed in this paper are as follows: was the Portuguese IP box, set up in 2014, internationally competitive in terms of the scope of qualifying assets and the tax rate when compared to other EU countries? Could its legal design induce potential corporate tax avoidance? Does the new IP box framework reduce avoidance opportunities and does it increase tax and accounting complexity for companies and tax auditors?
 Design/methodology/approach
 The methodology used in this paper is based on the legal research method combined with a case study analysis of the IP box in Portugal. The economic motivation for legal changes, the interaction between the tax authorities and the policy makers in the wake of BEPS’ recommendations, and the economic crisis that Portugal faced, influenced legislative options. A multidisciplinary approach is required to analyse the IP box modifications, and the methodology follows this line of enquiry.
 Findings
 The author concludes that the 2014 IP box was not competitive in terms of the scope of qualifying assets and the tax rate. However, it could be a potential tool for tax avoidance, mainly linked to transfer pricing strategies. Legal changes, introduced in 2016, by enacting stricter rules for granting tax benefits, fit a worldwide trend of restraining profit shifting opportunities linked to intangibles. The new framework clearly impacts tax and accounting complexity, for companies and tax auditors. Preliminary data, for 2014 and 2015, show a negligible impact of the IP box on corporate taxation.
 Practical implications
 The “modified nexus approach” is not a definitive panacea for fighting tax avoidance. Multinationals may move resources (e.g. highly specialized persons) to entities that are developing IP, curtailing the restriction associated with acquiring services from related parties. Tax authorities may fight these schemes, but face a challenging task. The grandfathering option and new accounting choices related to expense allocation are delicate issues. Not all countries adopted BEPS’ recommendations at the same time, which may impact international profit shifting activities and increase tax authorities’ costs to control them. The paper also provides preliminary and exploratory evidence that IP boxes, per se, do not suddenly raise the R&D activity of firms.
 Originality/value
 The analysis highlights legal, accounting and economic issues in dealing with changes in investment incentives and can or may be a useful remainder for countries in the process of setting up, or amending, IP boxes.

  • Articles 51 and 54 of the Jordanian Arbitration Act

    Purpose
 On two different occasions, the Jordanian Constitutional Court has ruled that Articles 51 and 54 of the Jordanian Arbitration Act no. 31 of the year 2001 are unconstitutional and null. In view of this, this paper aims to attempt to give the reader a brief preview of the Jordanian Arbitration Act, the Jordanian Constitution and the Jordanian Constitutional Court. It also highlights and critically analyzes the Jordanian Constitutional Court two decisions pertaining to the Arbitration Act and its special implications in this regard from the perspective of arbitration law and the distinct characteristics embedded in it.
 Design/methodology/approach
 To examine how effective is the approach followed by the Constitutional Court in ruling the unconstitutionality of the aforementioned Articles, this work makes use of the primary and secondary data available in this regard as the main method to complete such an examination. By critically analyzing and comparing the various data contained in these sources, this work identifies the problems associated with such decisions.
 Findings
 This work submits that while the Constitutional Court has rested its rulings largely on constitutional principles, concerns arising from the Arbitration Act perspective have not been dealt with adequately by the Court. Furthermore, it argues that while the principles of the constitution shall be respected, the distinct characteristics of the arbitration law warrant a more careful approach than actually followed by the Court.
 Originality/value
 Taking into consideration the importance of arbitration as an alternative mean for dispute resolution, the Jordanian legislator has addressed the application of arbitration as early as the year 1953. However, while the Constitutional Court’s questionable approach to the aforementioned articles would necessarily hinder the use of arbitration, no comprehensive scholarly work has either examined such approach or addressed its implications. Accordingly, this work derives its originality and value from being the first of its kind to examine and address such a matter.

  • Reimagining transnational validity under the CISG. A gateway to “homeward trend” interpretations

    Purpose
 The aims and objectives of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) have been defeated by the intrusion of domestic laws of different contracting states in the interpretation of the provisions of this Convention. One of the most abused channels of this un-uniform interpretation is through art 4 of the CISG, which excludes the matters of validity and property from the Convention’s jurisdiction. This paper, therefore, aims to critically analyze the dangers of unsystematic reliance on the domestic laws in the interpretation of art 4 of the CISG on matters involving transnational validity and property.
 Design/methodology/approach
 The paper will use doctrinal methodology with critical and analytical approaches. The paper will incisively study the doctrines, theories and principles of law associated with validity of commercial contracts and the implications of exclusion of the doctrine of “validity” under the CISG.
 Findings
 The findings and contribution to knowledge will be by way of canvassing for a uniform transnational validity doctrine that will streamline and position the CISG to serve as a uniform international commercial convention.
 Originality/value
 This paper adopted a conceptual approach. Even though the paper ventilated the views of many writers on the issue of application of the doctrine of validity under the CISG, the paper, however, carved its own niche by making original recommendations on how to create a uniform validity jurisprudence under the CISG.

  • The WTO practice of legality is ensuring transparency forself-enforcing trade

    Purpose
 One of the core objectives of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is to maintain a practice of legality, including guaranteeing state and non-state actors interact based on the world trade norms. In seeking to achieve this objective, the WTO aims to uphold the trade rule of law by emphasising compliance with specified rules and procedures during the accession process, dispute settlement and trade policy review. This study aims to review these compliance procedures by invoking the interactional international law concept of a community of legal practice. Second, it briefly illuminates Chad Bown’s proposal to establish an institute for assessing WTO commitments to improve member states’ remit to detect, challenge and deter noncompliance.
 Design/methodology/approach
 This paper is based on Jutta Brunnée and Stephen Toope’s Interactional Theory of International Law.
 Findings
 There is a strong link between transparency and enforcement in WTO law. The efficacy of the WTO law depends not only on its role in adjudication, but also on facilitating interactional legal practices, within and outside the WTO.
 Originality/value
 This paper offers an original analysis of the practices of compliance with WTO obligations and illuminates a new proposal for improving compliance. To attract and maintain compliance, the WTO needs to facilitate transparent interactional legal practices for states and non-state actors.

  • The AGOA as stepping stone for USA–Africa free trade agreements

    Purpose
 The purpose of this paper is to show how the pattern of trade relations between the USA and African countries is gradually shifting toward reciprocity. It therefore demonstrates that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was conceived to be a building block toward future bilateral trade agreements.
 Design/methodology/approach
 This paper adopts a historical approach to the USA’s policy toward Africa in general and in trade matters in particular. It critically reviews the chronology of US involvement in the continent.
 Findings
 Although it was designed as a preferential trade arrangement, AGOA was intended to evolve into reciprocal trade agreements. This is what the USA started doing even prior to the entry into force of the AGOA, by entering into Trade and Investment Framework Agreements with individual countries or blocs. It also transpires that the deployment comes as a response to the European Union which is already engaged in the redefinition of its own trade relations with Africa since 2004.
 Originality/value
 The paper is important in many respects. Not only it is a study of the US practice as preference-granting country, but it is also interested in the typology of trade agreements concluded by the USA in other regions of the world. This is important to indicate and analyze the types of provisions African countries should be expected to face when the time of entering into reciprocal binding trade treaties arrives.

  • Brexit, trade and agriculture: waiting for answers

    Purpose
 The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of the trading relationship in agricultural goods that the United Kingdom (UK) will have when it leaves the European Union (EU). The decision of the UK to leave the EU has raised many questions, including some on the nature of the trading relationship that the UK will have with the EU and third countries once it leaves the EU.
 Design/methodology/approach
 For agriculture, the UK will need to develop its own agricultural policy as it will no longer be subject to the Common Agricultural Policy and one constraint on the development of that policy will be the Agreement on Agriculture concluded at the end of the Uruguay Round negotiations.
 Findings
 This paper examines the three pillars of that Agreement - market access, domestic support and export competition - to determine the commitments that the UK may make in each pillar and then looks at two other relevant agreements, the SPS Agreement and the TBT Agreement, to complete the discussion of the scope of the UK nascent agricultural policy.
 Originality/value
 The value of the paper lies in the discussion of the obligations to be assumed by the UK under the Agreement on Agriculture and the contours of UK agricultural policy once it leaves the EU.

  • Conflict, international trade and President Trump’s isolationist policies

    Purpose
 This paper draws attention to President Trump’s isolationist policies and aims to show that it is reminiscent of the era of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of the 1930s. This paper posits that the isolationism coupled with the Trump government’s brash and uneasy relationship with other governments of the world will only harm the US economy because history has shown that isolationism does not work.
 Design/methodology/approach
 This paper briefly discusses the relationship between conflict and international trade and whether trade and economic interdependence are tools that are relevant in preventing the initiation, escalation and settlement of conflicts. It also draws a comparison between President Trump’s increasingly isolationist policies and the political climate of the USA in the 1930s, with particular reference to the Tariff Act of 1930. This paper finally explores the present tensions with other countries and likely consequences for America.
 Findings
 A direct relationship exists between conflict and trade because the presence of good trade relationships does not take away from but only helps to maintain peace and friendly relationships among nations. Furthermore, Trump’s isolationist policies are certainly going to harm the USA in the long run and a big part of that is because of the personality of the President himself.
 Originality/value
 This paper is an original work of the author and it strives to remind us of a similar past in US history, and warn of the dangers of the present course of the Trump administration.

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