Characterising Non-tariff Trade Policy


Julia Grübler and Oliver Reiter

wiiw Research Report No. 449, August 2020
45 pages including 11 Tables and 15 Figures

free download Open Data

Starting in the 1960s with the Kennedy Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), non-tariff measures (NTMs) have been replacing tariffs continuously as the core element of trade negotiations. Today they take centre stage in all EU trade agreements with industrialised and emerging economies. By matching product codes to the rich data of NTM notifications to the World Trade Organization and complementary information provided by the Temporary Trade Barriers Database, we provide a valuable open data source for trade policy analysis. Using data for 148 NTM-imposing economies for the period 1995-2019, we describe the evolution of different types of NTMs along countries and sectors, with a special focus on NTMs implemented by the EU. The analysis of our data, paired with comparisons with other sources, shows the merits and shortcomings of the WTO's service in providing transparency over members' trade policies.


Keywords: non-tariff measures, trade policy, trade barriers, database, open data, WTO, I-TIP, TTBD

JEL classification: F13, F14, F68, O24

Countries covered: European Union, WTO members

Research Areas: International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI