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What are the Characteristics of Technical Trade

Technical trade measures are mainly various forms of non-tariff barrier measures governed by the "Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement" and "The Implementation of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Agreement."

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The main charactists of techinical trade:

1.Complex form

Technical trade measures are mainly various forms of non-tariff barrier measures governed by the "Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement" and "The Implementation of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Agreement." Technical trade measures are usually based on the grounds of maintaining national security, protecting human health and safety, protecting the lives and health of animals and plants, protecting the environment, ensuring product quality, and preventing fraud. They pass technical regulations, standards, conformity assessment procedures, sanitation and phytosanitary Measures to be implemented. In practice, technical trade measures will have an impact on the free flow of goods internationally. If this impact creates obstacles to international trade, then such technical trade measures constitute technical trade measures. In other words, technical barriers to trade are when importing countries formulate and promulgate laws, decrees, regulations, and regulations when implementing import trade controls, rely on strict technical standards, and pass certification, inspection, registration, and supervision systems to improve market access for imported products. The technical threshold finally reaches a non-tariff barrier with the purpose of restricting imports.


2. Existential robustness

The formulation and implementation of technical trade measures are based on a certain level of science and technology and industrial and agricultural production, which determines the difficulty of breaking through technical trade barriers. However, the implementation of technical trade measures is an insurmountable obstacle for developing countries with relatively low levels of technology. The commodities of developing countries are often unable to be exported to these countries because they do not meet the requirements of developed countries’ technical trade measures. At the same time, since countries can formulate and implement technical trade measures based on their own unique climate and geographic characteristics, it is difficult for other countries to follow suit. Therefore, technical trade barriers are stronger and more effective than other trade barriers.


3. Developmental dynamics

As the technical regulations cover a wide range of fields and manifestations, there are quite a few administrative department regulations, and there is no need for cumbersome legislative procedures. This ensures that when technical trade measures are formulated, the procedures are relatively simple and there are larger Flexibility, you can formulate countermeasures for the situation of imported goods at any time. Since technical regulations do not require extensive international coordination like standards, countries make full use of the flexibility of technical regulations in formulation and implementation, and frequently revise technical regulations, making it difficult for developing countries to adapt. The EU's continuous increase in testing items for imported animal products is a good example. At the same time, in areas where there are no relevant international standards, it is also possible to restrict exports by reflecting the differences between domestic and imported products in the standards, such as changing the requirements for product size and packaging.


4. Connotative discrimination

Developed countries rely on their economic and technological advantages and their mature consumer concepts to formulate strict and demanding standards and regulations. The requirements of these technical measures are often beyond the reach of developing countries. For example, the European Community OKO-TEX100, which is adopted by many European importers and industry associations, requires textile standards to contain certain substances in clothing and textiles as high as ppb. On the one hand, due to limited technology, it is difficult for textile manufacturers in developing countries to control chemical composition to the ppb level; on the other hand, due to limited economic and experimental conditions, developing countries cannot detect ppb substances, so they have to develop The country's testing agencies implement testing, and the high testing costs further increase the export cost.


5. Nominal reasonableness

The technical measures of various countries are aimed at maintaining national security, protecting human health and safety, protecting animal and plant life and health, protecting the environment, ensuring product quality, and preventing fraud. The adoption of non-international standards is also based on the country’s environment, climate and Geographical conditions are an excuse to raise an exception. In fact, the implementation of technical trade measures has indeed improved the safety of products, protected the environment and the interests of consumers, and promoted the exporting countries of production technology to gradually improve their own production level and product quality.


6. Concealment in means

In reality, governments of all countries use their own relative technological advantages to covertly implement trade barriers through technical regulations, standards, conformity assessment procedures and other means. Generally speaking, traditional methods such as tariffs, quotas, and licenses have obvious barriers to foreign trade control. However, technical trade barriers often restrict foreign products to complete customs clearance. The barrier effect of technical trade measures to trade is more manifested during this specific implementation process, which is unpredictable. This unpredictability is bound to increase the risk of international trade and achieve the purpose of covertly restricting exports.


7. Cleverness of formulation

Some technical measures have been carefully designed and studied to specifically hinder the products of specific countries and serve the purpose of hindering the import of commodities from specific target countries. For example, in order to prevent the import of British sweets, France once banned the import of sweets containing erythromycin. Because erythromycin dyes are commonly used in the manufacturing process of British candies, the implementation of the French ban has made it difficult for British candies to enter the French market.


8. Broadness in the field

At present, the international technical measures involve a wide range of fields and a large number, covering almost all commodities. For example, the European Community has more than 100,000 technical standards, and Germany has about 15,000 industrial standards.


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