The purpose of this study is to provide some a snapshot on policies affecting international trade over the recent and medium-term period. It is intended as a regular monitoring exercise so as to provide interested readers with informative data and analysis on a regular basis.
The study is organized in several sections. The first part presents statistics related to tariffs. The second part focuses on preferential margins. The third section presents data related to tariff policy space. The fourth section illustrates selected statistics related to preferential trade agreements. The fifth part presents new data on non-tariff measures, and it is followed by a section on trade defence measures. The final section presents statistics on the exchange rate. All trade policy statistics presented here apply only on goods (merchandise). Trade policies related to services are not included in any of the statistics presented here.
All statistics have been computed by the UNCTAD secretariat and rely on underlining data from various data sources. Raw data on tariffs and non-tariff measures originates from UNCTAD TRAINS database. Trade data to compute weighted averages is from UN COMTRADE. Raw data on bound tariffs is from the WTO tariff data base. Data on trade defence measure is from the World Bank Temporary Trade Barriers database. Data related to preferential trade agreements, is derived from various databases including the WTO regional trade agreement gateway, the World Bank global preferential agreement database, the NSF-Kellogg Institute Database on Economic Integration Agreements and the J. De Sousa database on preferential agreements. Yearly exchange rate data and other macro level data used in the figures originate from UNCTADSTAT. Monthly exchange rate data used to compute volatility indices is sourced from Bloomberg. The underlining tariff data is at the HS-6 digit level. The data has been standardized to assure time and cross country comparison. Data covers more than 150 countries representing more than 95 per cent of world trade. Data on non-tariff measures is available only for about 40 countries and therefore may not be representative of world trade.
For the purpose of this study, countries are categorized by geographic region and distinguished between developed and developing countries. Major developing economies comprise those commonly categorized as such in UNCTAD statistics. Transition Economies, when not treated as a single group, are included in the broad aggregate of developing countries. Following the Broad Economic Categories (BEC) classification, international trade is classified into four major economic categories, depending on the stage of processing and use; namely, primary, intermediate, consumer and capital products. Product sectors are categorized according to the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) augmented by five broad agricultural sectors based on the Harmonized System classification (HS).