Summary and Info
After decades of progress in liberalizing international trade in goods, attention has rightly turned to reducing barriers to trade in services. Accounting, the most global of the professional services, has been chosen as the first priority for new trade agreements by the World Trade Organization. The Asian crisis of the 1990s--partly attributable to poor accounting practices--highlighted the need for increase competition in accounting, which would improve professional standards and permit more efficient use of capital. But regulatory restrictions, foreign and domestic, impede the flow of accounting personnel and information. In this study, Lawrence J. White rebuts much of the traditional rationale for such restrictions, analyzes the pros and cons of harmonizing national regulatory regimes, and provides a list of principles of regulation that would promote competition and serve as a model for global accounting practices.Reducing the Barriers to International Trade in Accounting Services is one in a series of new AEI studies on negotiations to liberalize trade in services. Each study focuses on a particular service sector, identifies the major obstacles to liberalization in that area, and presents policy options for trade negotiators and interested private-sector participants.
More About the Author
Lawrence J. White (born c. 1942) is Robert Kavesh Professor of Economics at New York University's Leonard N.
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