There is much talk today about subsidies and other ways of valuing international products at the expense of national production. These may even be the main ways to favor the national trade balance, but there are other ways to reduce imports of foreign products. So-called non-tariff barriers (NTBs) are put in place by several countries and have various effects on international trade today, often more significant than the tariff impositions themselves. Want to know more about this type of trade protectionism and its effects? Check out this information:
So-called non-tariff barriers consist of economic policy tools and instruments that act on international trade flows without the need to use tariff mechanisms (such as import tariffs). When a country protects a national economic sector, instead of simply raising import tariffs on a product, it imposes other types of restrictions, non-tariff barriers.
These barriers are often more trade restrictive than the tariff barriers themselves. When tariffs are raised, there may still be imports, even at higher prices. Many non-tariff barriers, such as phytosanitary ones, end up completely impeding the flow of trade. In other words, they have the potential to be more restrictive of free trade.
As non-tariff barriers are more difficult to track, raise and even prove in trade dispute settlement bodies (such as the World Trade Organization), many countries have adopted this form of imposing barriers to international trade. See the most common types of non-tariff barriers today:
Non-tariff barriers can have several consequences for foreign trade. The most significant of these is the restriction of trade, with the decrease in the international flow of goods. Moreover, if some of these restrictions are imposed as a form of trade protectionism only, it is possible that this will result in the creation of WTO consultation panels and even the authorization of compensatory measures by member countries of the organization. Such barriers also result in increased bureaucracy in international trade, contributing to the lack of uniformity among the various prerequisites required at the time of importation of products.
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