Pragmatism may have turned the world towards preferential trade pacts but these have distortive effects that are avoidable
As the old adage in French goes, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more it changes, the more it’s the same). Recent arguments and debates over India’s decision to give a miss to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement are oddly reminiscent of the debates we were having as long ago as the early 1990s—including in my Columbia graduate international trade class with economist Jagdish Bhagwati.
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