Trade and Development

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The Trade and Development Series seeks to provide objective, accessible information about the new trade agenda. Titles in the series cover a wide range of topics, from regional trade agreements and customs reform to agriculture, intellectual property rights, services, and other key issues currently being discussed in World Trade Organization negotiations. Contributors to the series represent some of the world’s leading thinkers and specialists on international trade issues. Titles in this series undergo internal and external review under the management of the Trade Group's Advisory Board in the World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network.

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    Deep Trade Agreements: Anchoring Global Value Chains in Latin America and the Caribbean
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-07-12) Rocha, Nadia ; Ruta, Michele
    International economic integration offers unexploited opportunities to Latin America and the Caribbean. This report studies how the region’s countries can leverage trade agreements to promote their economies’ participation in global value chains (GVCs).The gaps between potential and actual GVC integration follow from the region’s Economic fundamentals, such as geography, market size, institutions, and factor endowments. But policy choices matter as well. The report, based on new data and evidence, shows that trade agreements can drive policy reforms and help the region overcome some of its disadvantageous fundamentals. The report makes specific policy recommendations to guide Latin American and Caribbean countries in leveraging trade agreements to pursue greater international integration and economic growth. Four main findings emerge from the analysis: (i) Latin America and the Caribbean’s poor international integration and limited participation in GVCs have contributed to its low economic growth over the past decade; (ii) Although the region’s countries increasingly participate in preferential trade agreements (PTAs), there are gaps in the content of these agreements; (iii) Deep trade agreements present an avenue to promote trade and boost GVC integration and upgrading, thus contributing to improved economic performance; (iv) Four areas of deep integration - trade facilitation, regulatory cooperation, services, and state support - are priorities to improve these countries’ GVC participation and upgrading.
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    Trade Therapy: Deepening Cooperation to Strengthen Pandemic Defenses
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022) World Bank ; World Trade Organization
    The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the upsides and downsides of international trade in medical goods and services. Open trade can increase access to medical services and goods (and the critical inputs needed to manufacture them), improve quality and variety, and reduce costs. But excessive concentration of production, restrictive trade policies, supply chain disruptions, and regulatory divergence can jeopardize the ability of public health systems to respond to pandemics and other health crises. This report, coordinated by Nadia Rocha and Michele Ruta at the World Bank and Marc Bacchetta and Joscelyn Magdeleine at the WTO, provides new data on trade in medical goods and services and medical value chains; surveys the evolving policy landscape before and during the pandemic; and proposes an action plan to improve trade policies and deepen international cooperation to deal with future pandemics.
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    The Distributional Impacts of Trade: Empirical Innovations, Analytical Tools, and Policy Responses
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-05-19) Engel, Jakob ; Kokas, Deeksha ; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys ; Maliszewska, Maryla
    Trade is a well-established driver of growth and poverty reduction. But changes in trade policy also have distributional impacts that create winners and losers. It is vital to understand and clearly communicate how trade affects economic well-being across all segments of the population, as well as how policies can more effectively ensure that the gains from trade are distributed more widely. The Distributional Impacts of Trade: Empirical Innovations, Analytical Tools, and Policy Responses provides a deeper understanding of the distributional effects of trade across regions, industries, and demographic groups within countries over time. It includes an overview (chapter 1); a review of innovations in empirical and theoretical work covering the impacts of trade at the subnational level (chapter 2); highlights from empirical case studies on Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and Sri Lanka (chapter 3); and a policy agenda to improve distributional outcomes from trade (chapter 4). This book comes at a time when the shock from COVID-19 (coronavirus) adds to an already uncertain trade policy environment in which the value of the multilateral trading system has been under increased scrutiny. A better understanding of how trade affects distributional outcomes can lead to more inclusive policies and support the ability of countries to maximize broad-based benefits from trade.