News Release

Article examines retaliatory use of public standards in trade wars between countries

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Recent years have seen a resurgence in politicians’ willingness to engage in trade wars with other countries. A new article published in Economic Inquiry investigates the extent to which countries use public standards—requirements that goods must satisfy before entering a country’s stream of commerce—as a means of political retaliation during such wars.  

Investigators found that this type of retaliatory behavior exists for economically strategic goods, and that globally, 1,000 bilateral trade flows—or just over $11.8 billion in trade—were subject to retaliatory standards in 2015.  

“Tariff wars are a well-documented and classic example of retaliatory behavior. As tariff wars may face public backlash, this research shows that politicians' proclivities for retaliation are often satisfied through more subtle, non-tariff mechanisms, such as standards,” said corresponding author Kjersti Nes, PhD, of the European Commission.

Economic Inquiry, a peer-reviewed journal of the Western Economic Association International (WEAI), recently welcomed their new Editor-in-Chief, Tim Salmon, PhD. The official announcement can be found on the WEAI website.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.