From Legitimate Protectionism to Trade Wars?

404
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-9-18-25

V. Obolenskiy, (vobolenskiy@mail.ru), 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., 117997, Moscow, Russian Federation; 
Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 32, Nakhimovskii Prosp., 117218, Moscow, Russian Federation 



Abstract

The author argues that modern protectionism has a more moderate character than that in the middle of the past century. Besides that it does not, as a rule, go beyond multilateral rules of the regulation of international trade. This allows us to define it as a legitimate one. The author estimates the probability of the execution of the approved program of the negotiations of the Doha round which aims at further liberalization of agricultural and non-agricultural trade as well as services. It is stated that the deadlock situation during the negotiations forced the members of the WTO to step back from the batch method of decision-making and the principle “everything is compulsory for all”. This opened the way for the progress in reduction of trade barriers with the help of agreements between limited number of the participants (selective liberalization) and preferential regional trade agreements of the new type (“liberalization for those who care”). A fear is expressed that the current trade conflict between the US and China may lead to the opening of wide-scale trade war between the two countries and may give an impetus for the outbreak of similar “wars” between other participants in the world trade and, at worst, for the collapse of the multilateral trading system that has been built during the past seventy years. In this case, international rules, though not perfect and outdated, might be substituted by chaos and anarchy which may result in the aggravation of problems of the world development. Further on, the author pays attention to the fact that the level of tariff protection in Russia somewhat decreased after the WTO accession. Still, the membership in this organization does not create any serious problems for most sectors and branches of the national economy. It is a matter of fact that the level of protectionism in the Russian Federation is higher than in the developed countries but lower than in the leading developing economies (China, India, Brazil). The author states that strengthening of protectionist elements in the trade policy will be a difficult task for the Russian government. The main reason is that the principal functions of the regulation of the foreign trade have been recently subdued rom the national government to the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is concluded that the possible destruction of the established international order in trade relations will not bring benefit for the domestic economy which is, to a great extent, dependent from foreign markets both as producer and as consumer. This is why Russia has to continue full support to the WTO. Still, during negotiations on this platform Russian government has to act pragmatically and to put in the forefront the nation’s economic interests. 


Keywords

WTO, protectionism, multilateral trade talks, Doha round, selective and regional liberalization, trade conflicts, USA, China, Russia 


REFERENCES

1. World Trade Report 2011. The WTO and Preferential Trade Agreements: from Co-existence to Coherence. Geneva, WTO, 2011. 251 p. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/anrep_e/world_trade_report11_e.pdf (accessed 02.04.2018).

2. Dyumulen I.I. Mezhdunarodnaya torgovlya. Tarifnoe i netarifnoe regulirovanie [International trade. Tariff and non-tariff regulation] Moscow, 2009. 579 p.

3. Trade and Tariffs. Geneva, WTO, 2015. 8 p. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/20y_e/wto_20_brochure_e.pdf (accessed 10.04.2018).

4. Report on G20 Trade Measures. Geneva, WTO, June 30, 2017. 107 p. Available at: https://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/investment-policy/17th-Report-on-G20-Trade-and-Investment-Measures.pdf (accessed 11.04.2018).

5. Dispute Settlement. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/dispu_e.htm (accessed 13.04.2018).

6. Dyumulen I.I. Deklaratsiya Bali. Itogi Devyatoi konferentsii VTO, Bali (3–7 dekabrya 2013 goda). Interesy Rossii [The Declaration of Bali. Results of the Ninth conference of the WTO, Bali (December 3–7, 2013). Interests of Russia]. Rossiiskii vneshneekonomicheskii vestnik, 2014, no. 2. pp. 3-25.

7. Obolenskiy V.P. Globalizatsiya regionalizma: vyzovy i riski dlya Rossii [Globalization of the Regionalism: Challenges and Risks for Russia]. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2015, no. 9, pp. 5-13.

8. Regional Trade Agreements Information System (RTA-IS). WTO. Available at: https://rtais.wto.org/UI/PublicMaintainRTAHome.aspx (accessed 13.04.2018).

9. Monitoring of the actual events in the field of the international trade. Moscow, VAVT, no. 8, 22.03.2018. (In Russ.)

10. Dmitriev S.S., Korolev I.S. Kontury formiruyushcheisya vneshneekonomicheskoi programmy SShA [Parameters of the forming foreign economic program of the USA]. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2017, no. 10, pp. 25-36.

11. Nevel’skii A. Poluprovodniki protiv svinei [Semiconductors against pigs]. Vedomosti, 22.03.2018.

12. Katasonov V. Sposoben li Tramp unichtozhit’ Vsemirnuyu torgovuyu organizatsiyu? [Is Trump able to destroy the WTO]. Available at: https://www.fondsk.ru/news/2018/03/20/sposoben-li-tramp-unichtozhit-vsemirnuju-torgovuju-organizaciju-45811.html (accessed 16.04.2018).

13. Mikhail Emel’yanov: Our task is to improve conditions of the membership of the Russian Federation in the WTO (In Russ.) Available at: http://www.spravedlivo.ru/5_86585.html (accessed 16.04.2018).

14. In the game by general rules we are more profitable than other countries. Interview with M. Medvedkov. Kommersant”, 27.02.2018. (In Russ.)

15. World Tariff Profiles 2017. WTO, ITC, UNCTAD. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/reser_e/tariff_profiles_e.htm (accessed 23.04.2018).

16.  Fradkov P.M. Pora vykhodit’ iz zon komforta stran SNG [It’s high time to leave the comfort zones of the CIS]. Kommersant’’-Den’gi, no. 52, pp. 18-20. 


Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Obolenskiy V. From Legitimate Protectionism to Trade Wars?. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2018, vol. 62, No 9, pp. 18-25. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-9-18-25



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed
 
Current Issue
2020, vol. 64, No. 1
Topical Themes of the Issue:
• The Civilizational Dimension of Modern World Development: Problems and Approaches
• Pacific Asia: Prospects for Development
• Integrated Studies at IMEMO
• Global Transport & Logistics Infrastructure
View This Issue (2020, vol. 64, No. 1)
Send article

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications. Currently, the releases of 2015–2018 are available for free. The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic version of the 4-nd issue of 2019 of French magazine Politique étrangère is now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media (e-mailing is not possible because of technical reasons).

NEW SECTION

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“The Common Spaces”. The XX century was marked by the process of active development of the so-called common spaces, namely the World ocean, outer space and the Internet which, due to various reasons, were previously perceived as peripheral for the mankind and were not used at all or less intensively. Since then, the degree of their development and usage is constantly increasing. Even though the prospects of obtaining material dividends from their use are often extremely remote, the level of competition there is steadily increasing, resulting in growing inter-state conflicts’ potential.

“Silk Road and prospects of Great Eurasia”. It is planned to publish materials concerning the Chinese project of Silk Road and its impact on the socio-economic development of various countries in Eurasia and the integration processes in this mega-region.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!

We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!

CONTEST!

"World Eonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE JOURNAL

The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library eLIBRARY.ru or URL: https://press.gaugn.ru/.

In journal
WORLD ECONOMY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
                     Archive
                     Subjects
                     Authors
                     Articles for the year
                     Authors for the year
Years
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial