Technical barriers to trade notifications and dispute settlement within the WTO
Keywords:trade policy, technical barriers to trade (TBTs), WTO, dispute settlement
The aim of this paper is to verify empirically whether the Specific Trade Concerns (STCs) regarding Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) notifications by WTO members can serve as an early warning system for past and future disputes (DS) covering allegedly trade restricting TBTs. WTO members, in order to increase transparency of trade policies, have made efforts to compile data on notified TBTs. For several years the WTO provides a TBT dataset, used in our paper, which covers the STCs raised by its members (?reverse? notifications). From 1995-2011, there have been 45 requests for consultation under the Dispute Settlement (DS) Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in order to identify possible violations of the technical barriers to trade (TBT) agreement. This paper attempts to find the linkages between DS cases citing the TBT agreement and the STC data regarding TBTs. The DS Body?s decisions regarding possible violations of the TBT agreement are discussed in detail. Afterwards, we analyze, descriptively and econometrically, the relationship between notified STCs and DS consultations regarding TBTs.
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