Limits to Free Trade

Limits to Free Trade

Non-Tariff Barriers in the European Union, Japan and United States

David Hanson

This book explores the growing list of non-tariff trade barriers raised by the US, EU and Japan and assesses the prospects for significant trade liberalization. The author examines the liability of global free trade through a review of the complaints that these three countries raised about each other over a five-year period. He concludes that free trade may be increasingly hampered as barriers are created more rapidly than can be resolved, and that the prospects for significantly strengthening safeguards are limited.

Chapter 4: Issues Concerning US Trade Practices

David Hanson

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, international economics


INTRODUCTION There are three categories of issues that have been raised by the EU, Japan or both about alleged US trade barriers. The first group consists of “longstanding” issues that were raised in both 2002 and 2007. The second group consists of “emerging” issues that were first raised after 2002. The third category includes “settled” issues that were raised in 2002 but not in 2007. Many of the issues discussed in this book are unique to each country. There are several distinctive characteristics to the trade issues raised about the United States. These include the sheer number and intensity of the complaints. The issues raised by Japan and the European Union about US trade policies also focused on the US claims for a right of unilateral enforcement of asserted trade rules and rights. 2. TRADE ISSUES RAISED ABOUT THE US IN 2002 AND 2007 Forty-eight trade issues were raised against the United States by one or both of the other partners in both 2002 and 2007. They are listed in Table 4.1. 2.1 Import-related Policies 2.1a Trade administration issues The Harbor Maintenance Tax Since 1987, the US has levied an ad valorem tax of 0.125 per cent on most of the merchandise passing through US ports. The tax is levied on virtually all imports at the time of importation through the customs process. No tax is to be paid on domestic freight moving through Alaska, Hawaii and off-shore dependencies, or on fish or on crude oil from Alaska. Companies that...

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