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Abstract

Controversial aspects exist in the current debate on the application of Non Tariff Measures (NTMs) on agro-food trade. This study intends to offer an evaluation of the trade impact of both non-technical and technical NTMs on the US-EU bilateral trade, the two major players in WTO negotiations. The results show two main structural differences between the EU and US borders: technical NTMs are preferred in the US, while in the EU the opposite is true; agro-food imports in the US face a number of NTMs more than double that of the EU. Gravity model estimates confirm the negative impact of NTMs on trade. However, safety technical requirements seem to have a positive effect on trade, probably as a consequence of lower transaction, monitoring and enforcing costs.

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