Jordan's international trading regime and integration with the Arab region through trade liberalisation
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 01:51 authored by Khaled Khwaileh
The thesis critically examines the international trading regime of Jordan and its economic and political integration with the Arab world through trade liberalisation. In so doing, it analyses: (i) Jordan's involvement in the World Trade Organization (WTO) multilateral trading system, (ii) Jordan's bilateral free trading relationships with both non-Arab and Arab trading partners and (iii) the implications of these liberalised trading activities for Jordan's national economic development and political stability. The thesis concludes by offering some useful recommendations that may serve Jordan's best interests in its bid to minimise present challenges and maximise trade-induced development. The thesis criticises the mainstream understanding of free trade agreements (FTAs) as primarily trade agreements that are backed by the arguments of economic efficiency. The analysis demonstrates that FTAs are as much political arrangements as they are trade arrangements. However, because the mainstream literature justifies them as efficient economic tools, they are used to compel developing countries to provide trade conditions that are not always to their advantage. Developing countries are particularly disadvantaged by the imposition of trade conditions in the name of economic efficiencies, which neglect the political aspects of FTAs. This thesis argues that it is time to revise the overly economic analyses of FTAs and integrate the political and economic aspects into the scholarship. This is demonstrated in this thesis by analysing the role of Jordan in entering regional and global FTAs. This thesis concludes that an understanding of FTAs as both economic and political arrangements can benefit developing economies by mitigating the harshness of purely economic analysis and acknowledging the political give and take that already occurs, yet is not explicitly considered and analysed. The thesis argues that a more nuanced analysis of FTAs can serve the purpose of better integrating trading countries, such as Jordan, in peaceful coexistence. The thesis contributes to the development of Jordan's international trade policies to maximise economic benefits, and regional economic and political integration for prosperity and peaceful coexistence. Its recommendations will augment Jordan's participation in the WTO and its multilateral trading system, by playing a regional role to form a competitive regional economic bloc in partnership with Arab countries to integrate into the global economy -- abstract.