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Trade restrictions on minerals and metals

Author

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  • Jane Korinek

    (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD))

Abstract

Import tariffs and export taxes that are imposed on products far upstream in global supply chains increase trade costs strongly since they are applied on products that will most likely be traded many times before they are sold for final consumption. This paper examines the export and import restrictions in place on minerals and metals. This paper provides a backdrop to the recent trade restrictions on minerals and metals. This issue has had much resonance lately since the United States imposed import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium from some major producing countries. The use of export restrictions by producers of minerals and metals is increasing. Moreover, once export restricting measures are in place, they are rarely lifted. Export taxes on minerals and metals can be high, and some are prohibitively high. High export taxes negatively affect exports by countries that impose them. Import policies are very different to those that apply to exports: in major markets for minerals and metals, import tariffs have been substantially lower on average compared with the export taxes imputed by producing countries. Eight successive rounds of multi-lateral trade negotiations have taken place since 1947, resulting in fairly low import tariffs with many countries having bound their tariffs, i.e. pledged not to raise them above an agreed maximum, at successively lower levels. Export taxes are not subjected to multi-lateral oversight. Trade restrictions are used particularly frequently on metallic waste and scrap, which is generated either as a by-product of the mining and refining process or from recycled goods. Since recovered materials can re-enter the production cycle as inputs, trade restrictions pose a particular challenge to the aim of decoupling industrial production from resource use, which is deemed necessary to achieve compliance with the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Suggested Citation

  • Jane Korinek, 2019. "Trade restrictions on minerals and metals," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 32(2), pages 171-185, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:32:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s13563-018-0161-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-018-0161-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2012. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 422-427.
    2. Rutten, Martine & Shutes, Lindsay & Meijerink, Gerdien, 2013. "Sit down at the ball game: How trade barriers make the world less food secure," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-10.
    3. Headey, Derek, 2011. "Rethinking the global food crisis: The role of trade shocks," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 136-146, April.
    4. Tanaka, Tetsuji & Hosoe, Nobuhiro, 2011. "Does agricultural trade liberalization increase risks of supply-side uncertainty?: Effects of productivity shocks and export restrictions on welfare and food supply in Japan," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 368-377, June.
    5. Jane Korinek & Jessica Bartos, 2012. "Multilateralising Regionalism: Disciplines on Export Restrictions in Regional Trade Agreements," OECD Trade Policy Papers 139, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steinfatt, Karsten, 2020. "Trade policies for a circular economy: What can we learn from WTO experience?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2020-10, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.

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