This paper provides an overview of methods employed to quantify non-tariff measures (NTMs) and then analyses their differences and looks at what these mean for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The authors find several similarities in the approaches taken. Because all studies conclude that NTMs matter, they argue that policy-makers are right to focus on ‘regulatory cooperation’ in TTIP. Given the significant differences in NTMs across sectors, policy-makers are urged to dive deep into sector-specific elements of NTMs and focus on those sectors where the largest potential gains can be made (i.e. where NTMs are highest, such as in agriculture, automobiles, steel, textiles and insurance services). An area identified for further research is the fact that unlike trade taxes (i.e. tariffs), regulatory barriers to trade are not generally targeted as the primary policy objective, but rather stem from other strategic policy concerns such as consumer safety and/or social and environmental protection. This element should be further investigated.
Koen Berden is Chief Economist and Senior Partner at Ecorys, Assistant Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Associate at the World Trade Institute. Joseph Francois is Professor of International Economics at the University of Bern and Managing Director of the World Trade Institute. This paper is the 12th in a series produced in the context of the “TTIP in the Balance” project, jointly organised by CEPS and the Center for Transatlantic Relations (CTR) in Washington, D.C. It is published simultaneously on the CEPS (www.ceps.eu) and CTR websites (http://transatlantic.sais-jhu.edu).