Commentaries

  • Overview of developments in the international trading environment: Annual Report by the WTO Director-General

    WTO - This trade-monitoring report reviews trade-related developments during the period from 16 October 2014 to 15 October 2015.

  • The great recession and import protection: the role of temporary trade barriers

    This Introduction provides a summary and timeline of events in the Great Recession, including its macroeconomic and trade impacts, the uncertainty over trade policy in 2008-9, and the response to calls for additional monitoring of trade policy. In particular, this Introductions highlights the real time monitoring efforts of the World Bank’s Global Antidumping Database and subsequent Temporary Trade Barriers Database.

  • REACH revisited: a framework for evaluating whether a non-tariff measure has matured into an actionable non-tariff barrier to trade

    This article outlines a possible analytical framework employing recent and relevant World Trade Organization (“WTO”) jurisprudence for evaluating whether technical regulations such as the European Union’s (“EU’s”) European Community’s (“EC’s”) regulatory regime for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH”), as adopted and/or as applied, are WTO-consistent.

  • Barriers to prosperity - developing countries and the need for trade liberalisation

    Currently, developing countries have a low share of exports of final processed products which normally have a higher value added than primary agricultural products. Tariff barriers between developing countries themselves can be very high. There is, however, little evidence of tariff escalation on trade between developing countries: tariffs are often very high on both processed and unprocessed agricultural products.

  • Import protection, business cycles, and exchange rates evidence from the great recession

    This research estimates the impact of macroeconomic fluctuations on import protection policies over 1988:Q1-2010:Q4 for the United States, European Union, and three other industrialized economies. First, estimates on a pre-Great Recession sample provide evidence of three key relationships for the US and EU. Increases in domestic unemployment rates and real appreciations in bilateral exchange rates led to substantial increases in antidumping and related forms of import protection. Furthermore, economies historically imposed these bilateral import restrictions on trading partners going through their own periods of weak economic growth. Second, estimates from the pre-Great Recession model predict a major trade policy response during 2008:Q4-2010:Q4, given the realized macroeconomic shocks. New US and EU trade barriers were projected to cover up to an additional 15 percentage points of nonoil imports, well above the baseline level of 2-3 percent of import coverage immediately preceding the crisis. Third, re-estimating the model on data from the Great Recession period illustrates why the realized trade policy response differed from model predictions based on historical data.