Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Impact of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers on International Trade

Kang, Jong Woo and Ramizo, Dorothea (2017): Impact of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers on International Trade. Published in: Journal of World trade , Vol. 4, No. 51 (July 2017): pp. 539-573.

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Abstract

In principle, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures aim to protect the health of humans, plants and animals, while technical barriers to trade (TBT) ensure product quality and safety. However, governments may overshoot the requirements of health and consumer safety and use SPS and TBT to shield domestic producers from fair competition. Potential abuses of both measures as protectionist tools not only constrain international trade but also consumers’ welfare by restricting the choices of goods available to them. Our analysis shows that in general the measures seem to be positive for trade after controlling for other factors. However, the impacts are mainly driven by exports from advanced economies. Less developed countries do not gain as much when implementing the measures or are disadvantaged in exporting goods, particularly when importers are advanced economies. Within South countries, developing Asia are more adversely affected by SPS while non-Asian developing country exports are afflicted more by TBT. SPS in particular is damaging intraregional agricultural trade among Asian countries, which calls for policy makers to act more proactively in resolving nontariff hurdles in the region.

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