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Mahdi Ghodsi, Julia Gruebler, Oliver Reiter and Robert Stehrer

The global trade slowdown and the public resistance against attempts to stimulate trade through mega-regional trade deals are placing the role of non-tariff measures (NTMs) in the limelight of public discussions. The authors examine the question of how different types of non-tariff measures affected global trade during the period 1995_2014. They use information on NTMs notified to the World Trade Organization from the Integrated Trade Intelligence Portal (I-TIP), which allows them to differentiate between various NTM types, including technical barriers to trade (TBTs) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. They find that roughly 60 per cent of all estimates point towards trade-impeding effects of NTMs. Aggregates by NTM-imposing countries and targeted products suggest that the positive effect on the demand side compensates the negative impact on the surging costs of the supply side for SPS measures. TBTs overall appear to be trade-impeding, in particular for high-income countries in Europe and Central Asia.