FIW Studien | 2011-04
Model Simulations for Trade Policy Analysis: the impact of potential trade agreements on Austria
In this paper, we examine possible medium-term changes in EU trade policy, including the negotiation and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with regional entities like ASEAN and the NAFTA countries. We also examine the possible conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. Such changes in policy at the regional and global level imply changes in trade policy and industrial structure that affect Austria as part of the network of European industry. To accomplish this, we work with a computable general equilibrium model (CGE) of the Austrian economy and its major global trading partners. This model is benchmarked to 2020 macroeconomic projections. The modeling scenarios are based on a mix of tariff reductions for goods and non-tariff barriers (NTB) reductions for services. The services liberalization scenario is based on protection with an “actionability” assumption. The results include estimated changes in GDP, welfare, as well as in the value added contained in Austrian exports. The focus on value added provides important insight to the overall impact on the Austrian economy. In all policy cases examined, the striking messages is the importance of high technology services (ICT and other business services) to the total growth in Austrian exports, on a value added basis. This reflects both the high value added content of trade in this sector, and the apparent comparative advantage of Austria in this sector in the 2020 baseline.