International Trade Working Paper

The International Trade Working Paper series promptly documents and disseminates reviews, analytical work and think-pieces to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to stimulate debates and discussions on issues that are of interest to developing countries in general and Commonwealth members in particular. The issues considered in the papers may be evolving in nature, leading to further work and refinement at a later stage.


Exports at Risk from Non-Tariff Measures

The Experience of Commonwealth Countries

In recent years, increases in far-reaching tariffs have been widely publicised. While these have been important, this paper demonstrates that larger shares of Commonwealth member countries' exports have been exposed to changes in other policies, undertaken by their trading partners, that have tilted the commercial playing field towards favoured, local firms. It combines three databases of commercial policy change over the past decade to compute the shares of Commonwealth exports at risk from adverse policy changes and reforms by trading partners. The calculations undertaken use the finest-grain trade data available globally, and the conservative methods employed suggest that the resulting estimates almost certainly understate the scale of the threat to living standards.


Keywords: multilateral trading system, non-tariff measures, protectionism, tariffs, Commonwealth exports
JEL: O24: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Development Planning and Policy / Development Planning and Policy: Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; F10: International Economics / Trade / Trade: General
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