ECIPE Bulletin No. 01/2014

Traditionally, the concept of trade costs for shipping goods has been centred on tariffs, quotas and other policies inhibiting exporting firms from entering foreign markets. Now that the nature of trade is changing from shipping final goods to the transport of a myriad of inputs through global supply chains, the concept of trade costs is altering too. Rather than policy barriers “at” the border policy measures “before” and “behind” the border have become increasingly important. One of them is logistical barriers and the importance of them for trade is of course reflected in the new agreement on Trade Facilitation, part of the World Trade Organisation’s Bali package. However, renewed attention should also be given to trade and logistics policy in the EU, as it will significantly impact its competitiveness in the future.

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