Non-tariff measures and the WTO
Marc Bacchetta, Cosimo Beverelli 31 July 2012
The WTO and its predecessor the GATT have been remarkably successful in negotiating down tariffs over the past six decades. But trade is still a long way from free and since the global crisis, it is becoming even less so. This column reviews the facts, economics, and motives behind these new non-tariff barriers and discusses the challenges they pose for the WTO.
Data limitations make it difficult to document general trends in the use of non-tariff measures. Nevertheless, WTO internal sources of information suggest that the incidence of ‘public policy’ measures – that is, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures – has been on the rise (on this and other protectionist measures see Evenett 2012).
WTO, barriers to trade, GATT, protectionism, non-tariff measures
Supply chains and behind-the-border trade barriers: Implications for developing nations
Michael J Ferrantino 11 February 2012
As tariffs have declined steadily since the 1940s, government interventions to restrict imports have increasingly taken non-tariff forms. This column argues these add many trade costs along the supply chain and, in a world where production is fragmented across countries, they are associated with development traps. Regional initiatives and a focus on logistics measures can help bring supply chains to new parts of the world.
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).
supply chains, Trade barriers, non-tariff measures