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Non-tariff measures and the world trading system

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  • Ederington,Josh
  • Ruta,Michele

Abstract

With the success of the World Trade Organization and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in reducing conventional tariff barriers, much of the recent focus of regional and multilateral trade agreements has switched to non-tariff measures, both border and behind-the-border policies. This paper considers the recent empirical and theoretical literature on non-tariff measures in the world trading system. It provides a set of stylized facts based on available data on non-tariff measures and reviews the key methods used to estimate their trade impact. It considers the theoretical treatment of these measures in the trade literature with a focus on the rules and institutions that govern non-tariff measures in the world trading system. It discusses some of the major issues regarding international cooperation in these policy areas, in particular whether such cooperation should entail deep integration (involving precise legally binding obligations) or shallow integration (which allows countries greater discretion in the setting of non-tariff measures). Finally, this paper reviews some of the specific features the World Trade Organization uses in dealing with non-tariff measures such as national treatment rules and non-violation complaints, and considers policy options beyond the WTO such as harmonization and mutual recognition of standards.

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  • Ederington,Josh & Ruta,Michele, 2016. "Non-tariff measures and the world trading system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7661, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7661
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaime de Melo & Alessandro Nicita, 2018. "Non-Tariff Measures: Data and Quantitative Tools of Analysis," Post-Print hal-01731305, HAL.
    2. Beestermöller, Matthias & Disdier, Anne-Célia & Fontagné, Lionel, 2018. "Impact of European food safety border inspections on agri-food exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 66-82.
    3. Baccini, Leonardo & Impullitti, Giammario & Malesky, Edmund J., 2019. "Globalization and state capitalism: Assessing Vietnam's accession to the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 75-92.
    4. Julia Schmidt & Walter Steingress, 2019. "No double standards: quantifying the impact of standard harmonization on trade," Working papers 729, Banque de France.
    5. Luisa Kinzius & Alexander Sandkamp & Erdal Yalcin, 2019. "Trade protection and the role of non-tariff barriers," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 155(4), pages 603-643, November.
    6. Monica Hernandez, 2019. "The Rising Importance of Non-tariff Measures and their use in Free Trade Agreements Impact Assessments," GDAE Working Papers 19-03, GDAE, Tufts University.
    7. de Melo, Jaime & Solleder, Jean-Marc, 2020. "Barriers to trade in environmental goods: How important they are and what should developing countries expect from their removal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    8. Olivier Cadot & Michael J. Ferrantino & Julien Gourdon & José-Daniel Reyes, 2018. "Reforming Non-Tariff Measures," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 28879, November.

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