By: Scott Bouvier, Chen Bing, Mark Schaub,Martyn Huckerby, Ramon Garcia-Gallardo and Yixin Gong  King & Wood Mallesons

Why is reducing non-tariff measures a matter of global concern?

On a global scale, there has been a tendency towards freeing up trade and removing obstacles, as highlighted by the recent spate of international free trade treaties. Clear and measurable benefits of these treaties have been the reduction or elimination of tariffs.

However, as recognised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), non-tariff measures (NTMs) continue to present major challenges for exporters, importers and policymakers. Defined as “policy measures other than ordinary customs tariffs that can potentially have an economic effect on international trade in goods, changing quantities traded, or prices or both”, there is a wide spectrum of NTMs used in international trade today.
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