In order to discover how the EU could have a greater impact on reducing poverty in Latin America, the authors of this report analyze the experience of the Generalized System of Preference (GSP), a scheme aimed to help poor countries adapt to the international trading system. Overall, this regime has not proven effective for this purpose nor is there any evidence that it has had a significantly positive impact on reducing poverty in developing countries in general or in Latin America.
This paper starts with an overview of the context affecting this issue. The second section of the paper begins with a review of EU trade policy towards developing countries, stressing the GSP. Following that, it analyzes how the Latin American countries have used the GSP, with what results and what obstacles. This general treatment is complemented by two case studies, Bolivia and Costa Rica, which illustrate the problems more specifically. The final chapter provides conclusions and policy recommendations that should be taken into consideration in the current process of reform of the GSP.
European Union Trade Policy and the Poor. Towards Improving the Poverty Impact of the GSP in Latin America, Association for Research and Study of Iberoamerican Issues/AIETI, Madrid, Spain, 44 pp.