Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

Understanding deglobalization – measuring tariffs and enabling trade

With trade falling faster than output, the world is – in a technical sense – deglobalizing to some degree. In truth, though, it represents less a conscious choice made by consumers in one economy to switch to domestic produce and instead reflects the highly integrated nature of product markets.

A cause of concern, however, would be if countries started to raise tariffs and other barriers to trade. Earlier this month, the WTO made available for researchers a very detailed database on tariffs at a country and product level.

If all that detail is a little to mind-boggling (or spreadsheet-breaking), the World Economic Forum also earlier this month launched their 2009 Global Enabling Trade Report. The rankings in full show that small open economies are the best for enabling trade. Of note is that all the EU countries score very poorly in the ‘Market Access’ heading, due no doubt to the difficulties faced by agricultural exporters in other countries when trying to get their goods in the EU.

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