Trade policy through 2013: Signs of improvement but new policy concerns

Chad P Bown 27 June 2014

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How countries apply their trade policies has been of heightened interest since the early days of the Great Recession (Baldwin and Evenett 2009). While applied import tariffs have proven resilient to change, the temporary trade barriers of antidumping, safeguards, and countervailing duties have become important to understanding the year-to-year churning that arises under modern commercial policy. Here we summarise evidence from the World Bank’s Temporary Trade Barriers Database – that has been newly updated with data through 2013 – for more than 25 major economies.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  G20, protectionism, Trade barriers, Great Recession, TTBs

Do falling trade costs benefit all countries equally?

Dennis Novy 11 October 2012

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When the Great Recession hit in 2008, many countries experienced a collapse of their exports and imports. For example, US exports went down by around 25% between 2008 and 2009, and Japanese exports declined by a staggering 40%. This Great Trade Collapse has attracted a lot of attention (see Baldwin 2009). Leading explanations include a sharp drop in demand and a trade-credit crunch.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  Gravity, trade costs, Trade barriers

Supply chains and behind-the-border trade barriers: Implications for developing nations

Michael J Ferrantino 11 February 2012

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In recent decades, it has become increasingly common to produce goods in a number of geographically dispersed stages linked by international trade. At the same time, there is an increasing interest among policymakers in addressing barriers to trade other than tariffs, known as non-tariff measures (see eg Cernat and Madsden 2011 and Baldwin and Evenett 2009 on this site).

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  supply chains, Trade barriers, non-tariff measures

Is faster trade more trade? Evidence from EU enlargement

Cecília Hornok 09 July 2011

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Costs of international trade are still large and come in a variety of flavours. Total trade costs for a developed country are around 170% of the traded value (Anderson and Van Wincoop 2004), of which only a minor share are due to trade-policy instruments like tariffs or quotas. The focus of trade economists and policymakers has shifted recently towards the indirect costs of trade, such as those related to the quality of the transport infrastructure or the regulatory and administrative environment.

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Topics:  EU policies International trade

Tags:  free trade, protectionism, Trade barriers

Tear down this wall: On the persistence of borders in trade

Nikolaus Wolf, Volker Nitsch 09 November 2009

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Twenty years ago, the German economy experienced a massive “integration shock” (Siebert, 1992) that caught most economic agents by surprise. While the reaction to the shock in terms of movements of capital and labour has attracted considerable attention by economists (Akerlof et al 1991, Burda 2006, Hunt 2006 among many others), the nature of the shock itself – a sudden and complete removal of barriers to trade and mobility between East and West – was taken for granted.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  Berlin Wall, Trade barriers, Border effect