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Determinants of specific trade concerns raised on technical barriers to trade EU versus non-EU

Mohammad Mahdi Ghodsi ()

Empirica, 2018, vol. 45, issue 1, 83-128

Abstract: Abstract This contribution evaluates determining factors of Specific Trade Concerns (STCs) raised on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) notifications over the period 1995–2011. While multilateral and international agreements bind countries concerning the imposition of tariffs on imports, TBTs have been used as trade policy instruments, which conceal the true motivations of governments. The main legitimate reasons behind the imposition of TBTs are to increase environmental qualities and human health, or to improve market efficiencies. However, in addition to these reasons, governments are also in pursuit of protecting their domestic industries. In fact, this contribution analyses how trade protectionist motives and legitimate public policy objectives induce these specific trade measures. Various effective factors of TBT STC notifications are considered in the econometric analysis using fixed effect Poisson estimation as the main technique, and Poisson GMM as robustness specification. Separate estimations on the European Union block in this study points at the determining factors of TBTs harmonized by heterogeneous member states. Results suggest that bilateral trade and tariffs are one of the forces of TBT STC notifications, acknowledging the protectionist behaviour of authorities. Moreover, countries with high quality of humans’ health-related environmental issues, and low environmental vitalities, are more likely to impose new TBTs. Overall, this study confirms the complex nature of TBT STCs affected by economic, technological, institutional, and health and environmental issues.

Keywords: World trade organization; Protectionism; Trade policy; Technical barriers to trade; Specific trade concerns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F13 F14 F18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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