Negotiations for Overcoming Non-tariff Barriers to Trade

  • Brian Hindley


Virtually all developed countries find some aspect of international trading arrangements unsatisfactory. It is a moot point whether existing arrangements are creating bad blood or whether bad blood is creating an exaggerated dissatisfaction with existing relationships. Whatever the direction of causation, however, the problem is multi-dimensional, extending over agriculture, conventional tariffs, non-tariff distortions and multinational corporations. It seems likely that international negotiations will embrace all of these (and possibly others besides). Non-tariff distortions of international competition, commonly referred to as non-tariff barriers, would be only a small part of the whole. Nevertheless, their importance should not be underestimated.


Free Trade Trade Flow Provisional Application Kennedy Round Custom Valuation 
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  1. 1.
    See, for example, Non-tariff Obstacles to Trade (Paris: International Chamber of Commerce, 1969); Gerard and Victoria Curzon, Hidden Barriers to International Trade Thames Essay No. I (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1970); andGoogle Scholar
  2. Robert E. Baldwin, Non-tariff Distortions in International Trade (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    The most ambitious and stimulating attempts to deal with this problem can be found in Harry G. Johnson, “An Economic Theory of Protectionism, Tariff Bargaining and the Formation of Customs Unions”, Journal of Political Economy Chicago, June, 1965, pp. 254–83. The argument there is based on the hypothesis that domestic industrial production possesses “public good” properties—the utility of members of the nation is directly affected by the volume of domestic industrial production. It is worth noting in the present context that there is no presumption that world optimality requires zero intervention in trade flows.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Harald B. Malmgren, “Negotiating Non-tariff Barriers: the Harmonisation of National Economic Policies”, in US Foreign Economic Policy for the 1970s: a New Approach to New Realities (Washington: National Planning Association, 1971), pp. 79–109.Google Scholar
  5. An international code covering adjustment assistance programmes is briefly discussed in Seamus O’Cleireacain, “Adjustment Assistance to Import Competition”, Chapter 8 below. Also see Gerard and Victoria Curzon, Global Assault on Non-tariff Trade Barriers Thames Essay No. 3 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1972).Google Scholar

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© Trade Policy Research Centre 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Hindley

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