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Importing country standards emerge as an effective trade barrier when they exceed those of the exporting country’s domestic market. We introduce a new concept: bridge to cross (BTC), the regulatory gap between the exporting and importing countries. Importer regulations cannot be identified in a gravity model when multilateral resistance is correctly accounted for with exporter-time and importer-time fixed-effects. BTC, however, can be identified because it varies over time and by trading pair. As an application we apply the method to an SPS regulation regarding Aflatoxin contamination in maize. We find that the effect of BTC is higher for poorer countries.


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