Technical Bulletin No. (TB-1876) 49 pp

March 1999

A Framework for Analyzing Technical Trade Barriers in Agricultural Markets

Technical trade barriers are increasingly important in the international trade of agricultural products. Designing technical trade measures that can satisfy the growing demand for food safety, product differentiation, environmental amenities, and product information at the lowest cost to the consumer and to the international trading system requires an understanding of the complex economics of regulatory import barriers. This report proposes a definition and classification scheme to frame discussion and evaluation of such measures. Open-economy models that complement the classification scheme are developed graphically to highlight the basic elements that affect the economic impacts of changes in technical trade barriers.

Keywords: technical trade barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary, agricultural trade policy, environmental trade measures

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