Monday, January 13, 2020

Restrictive health, safety and technical standards Essay

Technical Standards: Standards and standards-related technical regulations are pervasive features of global commerce, affecting an estimated 80 percent of world commodity trade. These technical specifications make up much of the vocabulary in the exacting language of industry, consumer protection, and government regulation. As such, foreign standards and methods used to assess conformity to standards can either facilitate efficient international trade and its resultant benefits, or they can impede access to export markets. Divergent standards peculiar to a nation or region, redundant testing and compliance procedures, unilateral and non-transparent standard setting exercises, and a confusing thicket of other standards-related problems are now recognized as major impediments to free trade. For example: Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology publishes a list of imports and exports requiring mandatory quality inspection. Importers and exporters of the products on the list must subject their products to inspection and obtain a permit from the relevant government agencies (such as the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Fishery, and the Ministry of Science and Technology) at the time they go through customs. In the inspection, some products are subject to national standards, some are subject to regulations of the functional agencies, and some are subject to both. China is very concerned with the transparency of Vietnam’s mandatory quality inspection system. Language Barrier: Communication is the key to building successful business relationships. However, communication becomes complex when more than one language is involved. Interpreters and translators can play a critical role assisting exporters with the delivery of key information to prospective customers and clients. Interpreters and translators fulfill different roles in different cultures. For example, an interpreter in North America or Europe is expected to relay an unbiased account of the information to the audience. In Japan, however, an interpreter will translate the language and quite likely interpret gestures, context and meanings for those in attendance. Exporters should enlist the services of an experienced, fluent translator or interpreter who is also immersed in the culture of the target market. Working as a team, the exporter and the interpreter can review the text, presentation or other materials together to ensure that there will be no difficulties with background information, technical terms or potentially ambiguous messages. Non-tariff Barriers. Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) refer to the wide range of policy interventions other than border tariffs that affect trade of goods, services, and factors of production. Most taxonomies of NTBs include market-specific trade and domestic policies affecting trade in that market. Extended taxonomies include macro-economic policies affecting trade. NTBs have gained importance as tariff levels have been reduced worldwide. Common measures of NTBs include tariff-equivalents of the NTB policy or policies and count and frequency measures of NTBs. These NTB measures are subsequently used in various trade models, including gravity equations, to assess trade and/or welfare effects of the measured NTBs. Conclusion The world has a long history of international trade. In fact, trading among nations can be traced back to the earliest civilizations. Trading activities are directly related to an improved quality of life for the citizens of nations involved in international trade. It is safe to say that nearly every person on earth has benefited from international trading activities. This may be a good time to reinforce the idea that trade barriers are designed to protect some industries but, in fact they may hurt other industries or even consumers. Economists have found that sanctions don’t often reach their political objectives and they come with high costs. A good example is the steel tariff imposed by the Bush administration, on foreign-made steel. President Bush imposed the tariffs, ranging from 8 percent to 30 percent, on some kinds of foreign steel in March 2002, in order to help the U. S. steel industry compete with foreign steel producers. Many U. S. manufacturing companies that use steel, including manufacturers of auto parts and appliances, say that the steel tariffs have raised costs for manufacturers and caused thousands of manufacturing losses. Also, people who buy cars or appliances may have to pay higher prices because of the steel tariffs. The U. S. International Trade Commission recently concluded that the tariffs have caused a $30 million net loss to the U. S. economy. In addition, the European Union is considering retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. TBR (Trade Barrier Regulation) is Europe’s way of removing obstacles to trade, ensuring that countries abide by the rules of international trade, and providing procedures for resolving international trade disputes. Through the European Commission, its procedures interface directly with WTO dispute resolution procedures, affecting all countries subject to WTO rules and agreements notably the United States and Japan and whose industries have been the subject of recent international decisions. Free trade is usually most strongly supported by the most economically powerful nations in the world, though they often engage in selective protectionism for those industries which are politically important domestically, such as the protective tariffs applied to agriculture and textiles by the United States and Europe. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom were both strong advocates of free trade when they were economically dominant, today the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan are its greatest proponents. However, many other countries (such as India, China and Russia) are increasingly becoming advocates of free trade as they become more economically powerful themselves. As tariff levels fall there is also an increasing willingness to negotiate non tariff measures, including foreign direct investment, procurement and trade facilitation. The latter looks at the transaction cost associated with meeting trade and customs procedures. Traditionally agricultural interests are usually in favour of free trade while manufacturing sectors often support protectionism. This has changed somewhat in recent years, however. In fact, agricultural lobbies, particularly in the United States, Europe and Japan, are chiefly responsible for particular rules in the major international trade treaties which allow for more protectionist measures in agriculture than for most other goods and services. During recessions there is often strong domestic pressure to increase tariffs to protect domestic industries. This occurred around the world during the Great Depression leading to a collapse in world trade that many believe seriously deepened the depression. The regulation of international trade is done through the World Trade Organization at the global level, and through several other regional arrangements such as MERCOSUR in South America, NAFTA between the United States, Canada and Mexico, and the European Union between 27 independent states. The 2005 Buenos Aires talks on the planned establishment of the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) failed largely due to opposition from the populations of Latin American nations. Similar agreements such as the MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) have also failed in recent years. Bibliography 1. Barriers to entry: Coping with protectionism. UK Investment. 18 April 2007 2. Boone, L. , and Kurtz, D. Contemporary Marketing. New York: Dryden Press. 2003 3. Brue, S. , and McConnell, C. Economics. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2003 4. Churchill, G. , and Peter, P. Marketing: Creating Value for Customers. Austen Press. 2004 5. Czinkota, M. R. , and Ronkainen, I. A. International Marketing. 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