The macroeconomic implications of WTO accession

This chapter proposes a holistic framework by which acceding governments may evaluate the macroeconomic impact of joining the WTO. Because both acceding governments and WTO members are interested in preserving their own systemic stability and the stability of the multilateral trading system, evaluation of the Accession Package can be achieved by examining its impact on the domestic and external stability of the acceding country. The chapter concludes that, in the long run, the impact should be positive, and should be driven by better resource allocation as the acceding economy opens to international trade, makes deep structural reforms and aligns its institutions and policies with internationally recognised standards. However, in the short term, implementation of WTO commitments may lead to substantial adjustment costs in the public and private sectors. Overall, the design and implementation of WTO accession commitments is a matter of public policy that should aim to promote systemic stability and accelerate domestic reform, while addressing transitional costs.

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