Trade policy is on the move. Tariff discourse is evolving into action, non-tariff measures are spiking, and the number of trade agreements has risen to record levels. With a new round of U.S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports slated to rise an additional 10% on September 24, and then to a further 25% in the beginning of 2019, keeping pace with change is more urgent than ever. In this environment of change, it can be challenging to pinpoint trends and assess how trade policy shifts might impact business and products at the Harmonized System (HS) level.

Covering trade policy developments by the numbers, regional highlights, and trends over time, we have developed an interactive eBook derived from World Trade Organization (WTO) data and information from the Descartes Global Trade Content solution suite. The eBook presents high-level patterns at-a-glance and explores why it’s essential to deploy intelligent, data-driven solutions that can keep pace with change.

Register to Download the eBook, Trade Policy Trends: Succeeding in an Environment of Change.

Global Tariffs Are on the Move

Previously, tariffs were trending down; however, this pattern is beginning to reverse. Our findings reveal that the average of global Most Favored Nation (MFN) rates have fallen by 14%, or by 1.5 percentage points, since 2005. However, following actions such as U.S. Sections 232 and 301, world average tariffs are anticipated to trend up with an overall rise estimated for 2018.

From a regional perspective, North America and Europe clock in with the lowest average MFN tariff rates worldwide, with Africa levying the highest tariffs. Europe has seen the greatest decline in tariffs over time with a 2.6% decrease since 2005. The Asia-Pacific region assesses lower tariffs, which may be due, in part, to the large number of trade agreements in the region.

Non-Tariff Measures

As covered in our eBook, Non-tariff measures are on the rise.  Take NAFTA countries for example.  Actions such as Anti-dumping (AD) measures geared toward perceived lower priced goods, and Countervailing (CV) measures aimed toward goods perceived to be subsidized are on the upswing.

After a previous drop, the number of AD measures initiated or in-force by year has risen to near post-recession levels., Countervailing measures among NAFTA members have reached an all-time high with 121 actions initiated or in-force in 2017.

How Descartes Can Help

Descartes can help a business thrive amid complex and changing trade policy changes. Descartes’ solutions provide world-class business intelligence by monitoring and consolidating duty, tax, tariff changes, and more into the largest global trade database available.

Our solutions help to enable better decision-making and reduce the need to track complex trade policy changes. Descartes’ technology is flexible and can adapt to the needs of a given niche or market. From a web-based interface through to integration and automated data streaming, it’s easy to find the right match to mirror technology requirements.

Descartes’ solutions can also manage item compliance down to the SKU, part or item level, reduce duty spend, enable better HS classification; fuel ERP and Global Trade Management (GTM) systems with trade content, and more.

With a sizable database of over 6 million reference documents, Descartes helps to unite businesses with the broadest range of global trade information available.

Register to Download the eBook.

Written by Joely Callaway

Independent Consultant