Non-tariff measures (NTMs) affect daily lives; for example, limits on the use of pesticides help to ensure safe food; restrictions on toxins in toys help to protect children; and emissions standards for vehicles help to have a beneficial impact on climate change. Most NTMs are linked to policy objectives related to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, such as those involving the protection of health and the environment. However, they also often lead to costs that can create barriers to trade and economic development. In most sectors, the restrictiveness of NTMs far exceeds current tariffs. Particularly in agricultural sectors, developing country exporters face NTMs equivalent to tariffs of greater than 20 per cent. Potential carbon border adjustment mechanisms, currently being discussed, could be as high as 50 per cent.
This course will advise delegates on the following: the various types of NTMs and their economic impacts; the interfaces between NTMs and the Sustainable Development Goals, to assist policymakers in designing coherent trade policies; the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on trade-related policymaking and its consequences; the gender dimension of NTMs; insights gained by UNCTAD from the global transparency initiative and related research; and tools to support good policymaking, including the UNCTAD NTM cost-effectiveness toolkit, the UNCTAD regional NTM integration review; and the online mechanism for reporting, monitoring and eliminating non-tariff barriers under the African Continental Free Trade Area.