Saturday, September 15, 2012

Russia's national interest in the WTO

(Russian dolls and the global economy)

With Russia having entered the WTO, every domestic measure (automobile recycling duties and the duties on vegetable oil) having an adverse impact on trade is being scrutinized carefully. I have blogged about them here and here. Moscow Times has an interesting analogy of Russia's measures here:
"The logic of introducing the utilization fee immediately after joining the WTO is like that of a man who, feeling ill, visits a renowned physician to get the best diagnosis and prescription that money can buy, but then refuses to take the recommended medicine. Accession to the WTO enables the government to deal with lobbyists, but introducing the new fee immediately negates that advantage."
Will the Russian government be able to withstand the pressure of "domestic" interests to uphold their WTO commitments. While protecting national interest is not antithetical to joining the WTO (the U.S. speaks about national interest - interest of US manufacturers, US workers and US consumers all the time), it should not be blatantly violative of the provisions of WTO commitments. Will Russia be able to devise a smarter way of compliance yet protecting its national interest? Difficult line to tread? 

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