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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, if successfully concluded, would be the most significant bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to date, covering approximately 50% of global output, almost 30% of world merchandise trade (including intra-EU trade, but excluding services trade) and 20% of global foreign direct investment.
The costs to implement and maintain trade facilitation measures are not large and far smaller than the benefits gained from implementing these measures, according to this study. Moreover, an increasing amount of technical and financial assistance to implement these measures has been made available to developing countries over the last decade.
Multilateral agreement to cut red tape in international trade would dramatically reduce trading costs and add a substantial boost to the global economy, according to new OECD research.
Inefficient, outdated and complex trade procedures and formalities prevent businesses from taking full advantage of open global markets.
Drawing on OECD trade facilitation indicators, this paper finds that the combined effect of comprehensive trade facilitation reform would reach almost 14.5% reduction of total trade costs for low income countries, 15.5% for lower middle income countries and 13.2% for upper middle income countries.
Advance rulings, formalities and procedures, information availability and inter-agency cooperation are the policy areas with the greatest impact on trade volumes and trade costs, according to OECD trade facilitation indicators studied in this report.
Trade can be impeded by inefficient transport infrastructure, border procedures or information flows. Better logistics services reduce trade costs for businesses and improve the competitiveness of a country's exports, according to this study. (OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 108)
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Businesses and policymakers are concerned by recent trends in export restrictions on strategic raw materials like rare earths, metals and food commodities. OECD is working to bring more transparency and discipline to the use of these restrictions.
Export restrictions on raw materials can have a negative impact on the efficient allocation of resources, international trade and the competitiveness and development of industries in both importing and exporting countries, according to this collection of papers.
Open markets will be necessary for a sustained economic recovery. This report recommends that governments continue to resist protectionist pressures and work towards a level playing field for trade.