CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
Non-Tariff Measures, Specific Trade Concerns and Tariff Reduction

Gianluca Orefice

 Points clés :
  • This paper studies whether Specific Trade Concerns are raised by exporting countries as a consequence of tariff reductions in importing countries (when non-tariff measures become barriers to trade)
  • Results show that Specific Trade Concerns on SPS and TBT are raised when the underlying NTM becomes a barrier to trade, i.e. when tariff protection lowers
  • We find that a tariff reduction implying a 10% lower tariff-inclusive price corresponds to a 0.18% and 0.36% higher probability of observing a STC on SPS and TBT respectively

 Résumé :
This paper studies the determinants of the recent proliferation of Specific Trade Concerns raised at the WTO on Non-tariff Trade Measures (NTMs), with a focus on Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). Even thought NTMs are de jure imposed to protect consumers from unhealthy products, they de facto increase trade costs. So, when tariff protection lowers, NTMs become effective barriers to trade and the exporting countries can complain at the dedicated committee at the WTO (STCs). Therefore we study whether STCs are raised by exporting countries as a consequence of tariff reductions in importing countries, i.e. when non-tariff measures become barriers to trade. Using a recent database on STCs over the period 1996-2010, we find empirical evidence that SPS and TBT concerns are raised by exporting country as a consequence of importer’s tariff cut.

 Mots-clés : International Trade | Tariffs | Non-tariff Measures | Specific Trade Concerns

 JEL : F13, F14, F53
CEPII Working Paper
N°2015-30, December 2015

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