Mark Wu, Export Restrictions, in Handbook of Deep Trade Agreements 87 (Aaditya Mattoo, Nadia Rocha & Michele Ruta eds., 2020).
Abstract: Reports that export taxes and other types of export restrictions remain widely used trade policy instruments, particularly in developing countries, and for agricultural products and extractive industries. Governments employ these policy instruments for different reasons, but whatever the rationale, the use of export restrictions can result in price distortions in world markets and harm neighboring countries. Contemporary export restrictions have contributed to spikes in international food prices and increased market instability in food. Export taxes, in particular, reduce global welfare, and their removal could lead to an overall welfare gain in excess of US$100 billion per year and expand world trade volumes by 2.8 percent. Except for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article XI’s prohibition on quantitative exports, World Trade Organization (WTO) law includes few rules governing export restrictions, and some have called for the WTO to take a more aggressive stance in monitoring export taxes and other forms of export restrictions.