Non-Tariff Measures and the WTO

Economic Research and Statistics Division Working Paper No. 2012-01

47 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2012

See all articles by Robert W. Staiger

Robert W. Staiger

Stanford University; University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

In this paper I sketch out the rough contours of the challenge faced by the WTO in dealing with non-tariff measures (NTMs) as seen from the economic theories of trade agreements. The key questions for the WTO - the answers to which largely dictate the choice between shallow and deep approaches to integration - appear to be two: Is it the terms-of-trade problem or the commitment problem that WTO member governments seek to solve with their WTO membership?; and Is it market clearing or offshoring/bilateral bargaining that is now the most prominent mechanism for the determination of international prices? I suggest that evidence on the first question points to the terms-of-trade theory and hence toward shallow integration, but that answering the second question may be the key to identifying the best way forward on NTMs for the WTO.

Keywords: terms of trade, commitment, border measures, behind-the-border measures, offshoring, bilateral bargaining

JEL Classification: D62, F13, F55, H21, H23

Suggested Citation

Staiger, Robert W., Non-Tariff Measures and the WTO (January 1, 2012). Economic Research and Statistics Division Working Paper No. 2012-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1998738 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1998738

Robert W. Staiger (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-2265 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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