Covid-19 and non-tariff measures
Non-tariff measures are closely linked to the current COVID-19 pandemic. They play an
important role to protect human, animal and plant lives and to prevent pandemic
outbreaks, have been used frequently during the pandemic to achieve trade and nontrade
objectives and play an important role for the economic recovery from the
devastating economic and social effects of the pandemic. NTMs such as export
restrictions have been used to prevent shortages of supplies of medical products in
exporting countries as a reaction to increased domestic demands. At the same time,
other NTMs have been adapted to facilitate imports of important goods. Transparency
in NTMs is important for traders. OECD (2019) finds that increased transparency on
sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBT) in
regional trade agreements boosts trade by around 25 per cent. During the pandemic,
transparency in NTMs coming into force during the pandemic was particularly grim.
Most data were collected from news articles.
The aim of this paper is to examine the various NTMs imposed by countries during the
COVID-19 outbreak and to attempt to assess the many implications these can have.
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