Trade-affecting measures adopted during crises can facilitate or restrict the movement of critical goods. In 2020, APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade recognised the “importance of keeping markets open and working together to deliver a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment.” They also recognized the need to“work to facilitate the flow of essential goods”, and the “need for discussion to reduce non-tariff barriers which restrict trade in essential goods.” These statements build on work APEC has already done in adopting the Cross Cutting Principles on Non-Tariff Measures in 2018. The Declaration on Facilitating the Movement of Essential Goods also committed APEC economies to review progress on various NTMs. This research project thus has three aims:
1. To canvas the range of NTMs implemented on essential goods during COVID-19 by APEC economies;
2. To share best practice of where APEC economies are doing well with respect to NTMs implemented during COVID-19 on essential goods; and
3. To advise on options to Ministers Responsible for Trade in 2021 for avenues to continue future work to enhance the benefits of trade-facilitating NTMs and decrease the costs of trade-restrictive NTMs.
Data on NTMs will be aggregated (not economy-specific), and we aim to have the publication of the report and any resulting recommendations ready in time for MRT 2021.