Ana Isabel Sanjuán López
After a longstanding crisis, exports appear to give a boost to the economic recovery and the employment generation. The agro-food sector has demonstrated a strong dynamism in this way, by increasing its presence in the foreign markets. Nevertheless, its consolidation and expansion require keeping the foreign competitiveness. After the stalled multilateral negotiations of Doha round, EU, as well as other trade blocks (USA) have reoriented their bilateral and/or regional trade policy. This will lead to higher trade liberalization which may ease the access to new markets, while at the same time it means increasing competition in the domestic EU market. The political and academic circles agree in indicating that the higher earnings are obtained from Non-tariff Measures reduction, given that the successive rounds of negotiations through the Trade World Organization have achieved noticeably tariffs reductions. In this sense, Non.tariff Measures play a relevant role in the negotiating agenda, being the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between EU and USA a good example.
Studying such measures, which are mostly based on issues related to technical and sanitary specifications, certifications and inspections, it is crucial to let the companies be able to meet the foreign market requirements, as well as identifying what other barriers are more likely to face and their consequent extra costs. Taking this fact into account, and given the heterogeneity of the NTMs application across countries, specific information of NTMs across sectors and countries may help the agro-food industry to better target its export markets. Likewise, from the domestic market point of view, to understand how it may be observed how restrictive the NTMs imposed by the EU to its competitors are in the domestic market.
The proposed project tries to identify the above-mentioned Non-tariff Measures across the leading sectors and across other sectors with higher export potential, in a qualitative manner. It quantifies what the NTMs impact has been in the past, not only in Spain but also in other competing countries in both the domestic and emerging markets. Moreover, it simulates the potential expansion path of the Spanish exports after their reduction. From a methodological point of view, the project combines a comprehensive revision of the international databases covering Non-tariff Measures with an econometric approach based on a gravity equation. This model has a long history of analysing bilateral trade and incorporates the latest econometric achievements (e.g., dealing with zero trade values, panel data), as well as it models in two ways, explicitly and implicitly, the Non-tariff Measures impact on trade. This impact is translated into a premium price or a tariff equivalent, which allows comparing market access restrictiveness between NTMs and tariffs, as well as across sectores and countries.
Phil John Dawson (Newcastle University); Monia Ben-Kaabia (Universidad de Zaragoza)