Complexity and the Tariff Schedule

Sean D. Ehrlich

in Access Points

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199737536
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918645 | DOI:
Complexity and the Tariff Schedule

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This chapter begins the analysis of policy complexity with an investigation into the effects of access points on complexity in trade policy. Under World Trade Organization rules, countries apply tariffs and other barriers to trade at the product level; that is, different products can have different levels of taxation. As a result, some countries have very specific tariff schedules whereby very similar products might have very different tariff rates while other countries have more uniform tariff schedules. This chapter shows how the number of access points influences this outcome: with more access points, industries lobby more for special rates on the products they produce or import, leading to more complex tariff schedules. In addition, this chapter shows how tariff complexity reduces the degree of economic openness in a country.

Keywords: complexity; trade; tariffs; economic openness

Chapter.  6043 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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