Background

Data policies, technical regulations, and excess capacity are among the trade barriers outlined in the first National Trade Estimate report issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under the Biden administration.

The NTE report describes thousands of individual barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment, and e-commerce to 65 trading partners and country groups accounting for 99 percent of U.S. goods trade and 87 percent of U.S. services trade. These barriers include tariffs, import licensing, customs measures, subsidies, intellectual property protections, and restrictions on digital trade, e-commerce, investment, competition, and services.

Among the barriers the report highlights as significant are the following.

- tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. agricultural exports such as non-science-based regulatory measures, opaque approval processes for agricultural biotechnology products, burdensome import licensing and certification requirements, and restrictions on use of common names for certain products

- restrictive data policies in India, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Turkey; local software pre-installation requirements in Russia; Indonesian tariffs on digital products; existing or proposed local content requirements for online streaming services in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, Mexico, Ukraine, and Vietnam; and discriminatory tax measures in Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the UK

- excess production capacity in China, including with respect to steel, aluminum, and solar products

- technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures that unnecessarily restrict trade or curb the movement of innovative products; e.g., non-transparent EU chemical regulations, China’s cybersecurity and encryption standards, and Indian and Brazilian testing and certification rules for telecommunications equipment

Copyright © 2021 Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; WorldTrade Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.

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