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Product Standards, Trade Disputes and Protectionism

Daniel Sturm ()

CEP Discussion Papers from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: Trade disputes over national product standards are a growing source of tension in the international trading system. The usual pattern is that a country introduces a new product standard for all sales of a good in its local market, which is justified as necessary for consumer or environmental protection. Importers into the local market, however, challenge the standard as a 'disguised barrier to trade' or 'green protectionism'. The paper develops a two country political economy model to explain such disputes. It is shown how the political process can lead to a 'political failure' which takes the form of either too many or too few product standards and disagreement between politicians in different countries over the optimal policy. In a second step the model is used to evaluate whether two common proposals to settle or avoid such disputes, mutual recognition of standards and harmonization, can improve the political process.

Keywords: Product standards; trade policy; environmental policy; political economy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001-01
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Related works:
Journal Article: Product standards, trade disputes, and protectionism (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Product standards, trade disputes and protectionism (2001) Downloads
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