The Rise of Non-tariff Measures and Consequences for Global Trade

Schwerpunkt Außenwirtschaft 2017/2018: Protektionismus: Ursachen, Erscheinungsformen, ökonomische Effekte

(joint with Erdal Yalcin)

After more than fifty years of steady growth the world has experienced for several years stagnation in global trade. To which extent is trade protection the source for this recent slowdown in international trade? This chapter illustrates how trade protection across the world and in specific countries emerged over the past years. It turns out that an important share of modern trade policy is increasingly shaped by non-tariff measures which are applied by all WTO members. Therefore, besides illustrating the development of traditional customs duty – tariffs – we elaborate how new forms of trade protection have emerged over the past years and how they are related to customs duties. Moreover, based on econometric estimations our analysis illustrates how strong these non-tariff measures can reduce international trade. Numerical simulations indicate that trade protection based on non-tariff measures can be responsible for about 16% of the observed global trade slowdown.

Read full text