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Cost of NTMs on U.S. agricultural exports to EU, by product category 2015

This statistic shows the cost of non-tariff measures on U.S. agricultural exports to the EU expressed as a tariff equivalent, by product categories. As expressed as a tariff equivalent, U.S. exports of pork to the EU face an 81 percent tariff due to non-tariff measures.

Non-tariff measures

Non-tariff trade barriers or non-tariff trade measures are, as the name suggests, barriers to trade other than tariffs. These are typically embodied in regulatory mechanisms such as customs valuations rules, licensing restrictions and quotas, as well as safety standards. Non-tariff barriers are generally implemented in order to help domestic business or protect the health and safety of a nation’s citizens, wildlife and environment.

The reduction or elimination of non-tariff barriers is at the heart of both the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership as well as the fears of its critics. The deal seeks to make trade regulations between the United States and European Union countries equivalent in order to facilitate greater trade. A recent study on TTIP has projected that U.S. exports to the EU would increase by 22 to 36 percent and EU to U.S. exports would increase by 15 to 27 percent.

Europeans, in particular, are largely against any measures that would make their consumer and environmental safety standards in line with those of the U.S. In general, product standards in the EU are higher than those in the U.S. As an example, in terms of chemicals in products, the U.S. takes the approach that any chemical is safe until proven unsafe, whereas the opposite holds true in the EU.

Cost of non-tariff measures on U.S. agricultural exports to the EU expressed as a tariff equivalent, by product category 2015

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Release date

November 2015


United States, EU

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Tariff equivalent of NTMs were calculated using a gravity model to estimate the cost of trade with and without specific frequently cited NTMs by U.S. and EU exporters and then expressed as a percentage of current trade prices on a subset of exports.

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