Journal Article

Implications of COMTRADE Compilation Practices for Trade Barrier Analyses and Negotiations

Alexander J. Yeats

in The World Bank Economic Review

Volume 26, issue 3, pages 539-555
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0258-6770
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1564-698X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wber/lhr053
Implications of COMTRADE Compilation Practices for Trade Barrier Analyses and Negotiations

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U.N. Commodity Trade (COMTRADE) statistics have major shortcomings for many analyses relating to tariffs and other trade barriers. The use of a cost-insurance-freight valuation base for these data results in an upward (sometimes severe) bias in the implied dutiable value of imports for countries that utilize free-on-board tariffs. This problem can be greatly exacerbated by the “general” trade system procedure used to compile the U.N. statistics, as opposed to the “special” trade practice used for the World Trade Organization Integrated Database. U.S. International Trade Commission statistics show that the combined effects of these biases can reach magnitudes that preclude the legitimate use of COMTRADE for many tariff-trade simulations or related trade negotiations.

Keywords: F13; F17

Journal Article.  6377 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Trade

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