Nonprimary Exports of African LDCs: Have Trade Preferences Helped?

This paper examines the impact on the economies of Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, and Zambia of a programme intended to enhance the economic growth of developing nations, the United States Generalized System of Preferences (US GSP). Economists and African political leaders have both argued that an expansion of nontraditional exports from the African countries is necessary if they are to make significant strides in economic development. A continuation of the granting of trade preferences for exports from African countries is viewed as an essential factor in the achievement of this goal. The aim here is to determine whether or not the evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that the US GSP programme has been a positive influence on nontraditional exports from sub-Saharan African countries. The study covers the period 1967-1987. The statistical results suggest that the beneficial effects of this programme have been minimal in the past with respect to these countries. Some possible reasons for this outcome are discussed and some policy changes to enhance the programme’s impact in the future are suggested. For instance, the US GSP programme would be more helpful to the beneficiary developing countries if the uncertainty about its expected life were reduced. Notes, ref.

Title: Nonprimary Exports of African LDCs: Have Trade Preferences Helped?
Authors: Truett, Dale B.
Truett, Lila J.
Year: 1992
Periodical: Journal of Developing Areas
Volume: 26
Issue: 4
Period: July
Pages: 457-473
Language: English
Geographic terms: Kenya
Tanzania
Zambia
Mauritius
Abbreviation: LDCs=Less Developed Countries
External links: https://www.jstor.org/stable/4192134
http://search.proquest.com/pao/docview/1311650760
Abstract: This paper examines the impact on the economies of Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, and Zambia of a programme intended to enhance the economic growth of developing nations, the United States Generalized System of Preferences (US GSP). Economists and African political leaders have both argued that an expansion of nontraditional exports from the African countries is necessary if they are to make significant strides in economic development. A continuation of the granting of trade preferences for exports from African countries is viewed as an essential factor in the achievement of this goal. The aim here is to determine whether or not the evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that the US GSP programme has been a positive influence on nontraditional exports from sub-Saharan African countries. The study covers the period 1967-1987. The statistical results suggest that the beneficial effects of this programme have been minimal in the past with respect to these countries. Some possible reasons for this outcome are discussed and some policy changes to enhance the programme’s impact in the future are suggested. For instance, the US GSP programme would be more helpful to the beneficiary developing countries if the uncertainty about its expected life were reduced. Notes, ref.