The Office of U.S. Trade Representative’s National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers published annually classifies barriers into ten categories:
Import policies that include tariffs and other import charges as well as customs barriers
Standards, testing, labeling and certification, which includes refusal to accept U.S. manufacturer’s self-certification that they conform to a country’s product standards
Government procurement, including “buy domestic” and closed bidding processes
Export subsidies including export financing on preferential terms and agricultural export subsidies that displace U.S. exports in third world markets
Service barriers such as limits on the range of financial services that can be offered by outside financial institutions
Lack of intellectual property protection– endangering patents, copyrights or trademarks
Investment barriers, including limits on global equity participation, access to outside government-funded research and development programs, and restrictions on transferring earnings and capital
Anti-competitive practices with trade effects tolerated by other governments, including anti-competitive activities of both state-owned and private firms
Trade restrictions affecting e-commerce including discriminatory taxation
Other barriers, such as those that might encompass more than one category–bribery and corruption– or that affect a single sector
Each year the report outlines the specific barriers in each of the largest export markets in the U.S., breaking them out according to 57 countries and several regions including the European Union and the Southern Africa Customs Union. It is essential reading for global marketers looking to expand into one of these nations or regions.
This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.
Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 17-18.