During the last decade international trade has been characterized by a progressive shift in the use of trade policy instruments. Despite the trade tensions that have characterised the last year, tariffs have remained substantially stable during the last few years with tariff protection remaining a critical factor only in certain sectors in a limited number of markets. On the other hand, the use of regulatory measures and other non-tariff measures is widespread and, in some cases, resulted in tensions among major economies. The implications of ongoing trade tensions for developing countries are discussed in the topical part of this publication.
This report is structured in two parts. The first part presents a discussion on ongoing trade tensions. The second part discusses trends in selected trade policy instruments including illustrative statistics. The second part is divided into five chapters: tariffs, trade agreements, non-tariff measures, trade defence measures, and exchange rates. Trade trends and statistics are provided at various levels of aggregation illustrating the use of the trade policy measures across economic sectors and geographic regions.
The report is available from the UNCTAD website.