Is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Customs Union a Myth?
Keywords:GCC States, GCC Customs Union, WTO Disciplines, Import Duties, Trade Remedies
This paper analyzes the degree of maturity of the GCC customs union and ambiguities surrounding the Gulf integration process. Despite steady progress in recent years, customs tariffs and procedures are not yet applied uniformly. National customs policies often trend towards the objective of promoting diversification and competitiveness of domestic industries at the expense of global trade and GCC integration process as a whole. GCC States are torn between their WTO commitments and the need for a deeper regional integration allowing competition in a global economy, and, at the same time, the lack of confidence in this common project reflected by the persistence of variable tariff schemes or customs procedures, as well as the unilateral increase of import duties to protect domestic industries.
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