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Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures: Assessment, Measurement, and Impact

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  • Grant, Jason
  • Arita, Shawn

Abstract

Although recent data collection have revealed a large and diverse universe of non-tariff measures (NTMs), identification and quantification of these measures remain elusive. While much has been written on the subject, the extant literature has been unable to effectively diagnose the most critical areas of NTM concern, sorting out how and to what extent the trade effects vary across different types of measures, and the development of a suitable framework to address these policies in multilateral and regional trade arenas. The purpose of this paper is to shed new light on the landscape of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures affecting agri-food trade by exploiting detailed information from the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) SPS committee meeting minutes on specific trade concerns (STCs) as a way to ‘reveal’ major cross-cutting NTM concerns faced by exporters. We catalogue the nature and duration of these measures across countries, products and specific classes of NTMs for the period 1995-2014. Our analysis indicates that developed countries play a significant role notifying specific concerns, although developing country notifications are on the rise. The results suggest that the WTO’s SPS trade concern discussion mechanism may facilitate the resolution of SPS concerns, with success often depending on the type of concern and the participation of Members as raising the issue or maintaining the measure. While most SPS concerns are resolved, the distribution of concerns exhibits sharp peaks and heavy right tails with some concerns lasting more than a decade. Animal diseases and tolerances are identified as recurring concerns in meat and fruit and vegetable trade, respectively, with concerns related to testing and quarantine, customs and administration procedures, certification and import permits also on the rise. A first-pass empirical assessment indicates that SPS concerns impart significant reductions to Members’ agricultural exports. While the SPS trade effects are heterogeneous across types of measures, countries maintaining or raising the measure, and the product sectors considered, they are consistently negative and strikingly large in magnitude, even for some of the largest countries in global agri-food trade. Thus, the analysis and results have important policy implications in terms of targeting SPS areas for discussion.

Suggested Citation

  • Grant, Jason & Arita, Shawn, 2017. "Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures: Assessment, Measurement, and Impact," Commissioned Papers 259417, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iatrcp:259417
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.259417
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca, 2019. "The Effects of Non‐tariff Measures on Agri‐food Trade: A Review and Meta‐analysis of Empirical Evidence," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 595-617, September.
    2. Arita, Shawn & Grant, Jason & Sydow, Sharon & Beckman, Jayson, 2021. "Has Global Agricultural Trade Been Resilient Under COVID-19? Lessons from an Econometric Assessment," 2021 Conference, August 17-31, 2021, Virtual 315888, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Santeramo, Fabio G., 2017. "On Non-Tariff Measures and Changes in Trade Routes: From North-North to South-South Trade?," 2017: Globalization Adrift, December 3-5, 2017, Washington, D.C. 266809, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    4. Grant, Jason & Xie, Chaoping & Boys, Kathryn, 2022. "Firms, Agricultural Imports, and Tariff-Rate Quotas: An Assessment of China’s Wheat, Corn, and Rice Imports Using Firm-Level Data," Commissioned Papers 321889, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    5. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca, 2019. "On the impact of non-tariff measures on trade performances of the African agri-food sector," Agrekon, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 58(4), pages 389-406, October.
    6. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca, 2022. "Standards and regulatory cooperation in regional trade agreements: What the effects on trade?," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 44(4), pages 1682-1701, December.
    7. Beckman, Jayson & Dyck, John & Heerman, Kari, 2017. "The Global Landscape of Agricultural Trade, 1995-2014," Economic Information Bulletin 265270, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    8. Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano & Lamonaca, Emilia, 2019. "The role of non-tariff measures in the agri-food sector: positive or negative instruments for trade?," MPRA Paper 96763, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Arita, Shawn & Grant, Jason & Sydow, Sharon & Beckman, Jayson, 2022. "Has global agricultural trade been resilient under coronavirus (COVID-19)? Findings from an econometric assessment of 2020," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    10. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Valentina Guerrieri & Emilia Lamonaca, 2018. "On the Evolution of Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards: The Role of Trade Agreements," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 9(1), pages 1-15, December.
    11. Jacob Wood & Jie Wu & Yilin Li & Jungsuk Kim, 2019. "The Impact of TBT and SPS Measures on Japanese and Korean Exports to China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(21), pages 1-23, November.

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