1887

World Trade Report 2012

Trade and Public Policies: A Closer Look at Non-Tariff Measures in the 21st Century

image of World Trade Report 2012

Regulatory measures for trade in goods and services raise new and pressing challenges for international cooperation in the 21st century. The World Trade Report 2012 examines why governments use these non-tariff measures and to what extent such measures may distort international trade. Non-tariff measures (NTMs) can serve legitimate public policy goals, such as protecting the health of consumers, but they may also be used for protectionist purposes. The Report reveals how the expansion of global production chains, climate change and the growing importance of consumer concerns in richer countries affect the use of NTMs. It also reports that such measures represent the main source of concerns for exporters. The focus of the Report is on technical barriers to trade (TBT) regarding standards for manufactured goods, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures concerning food safety and animal/plant health, and domestic regulation in services. The Report looks at the availability of information on NTMs and the latest trends concerning usage. It discusses the impact that NTMs have on trade and examines how regulatory harmonization and/or mutual recognition of standards may help to reduce any trade-hindering effects. Finally, the Report looks at international cooperation on NTMs.

English French, Spanish

.

Introduction

Non-tariff measures that can potentially affect trade in goods present the multilateral trading system with a basic policy challenge – how to ensure that these measures meet legitimate policy goals without unduly restricting or distorting trade. The same challenge applies to measures that can affect trade in services. This introduction discusses how the motivations for using non-tariff measures and services measures have evolved, complicating the policy panorama, but not changing the core challenge of how to manage the tension between public policy goals and trading opportunities.

English Spanish, French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error