Non-tariff Measures and Harmonisation: Issues for the RCEP
The upcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a critical element of regional integration in East Asia and the Pacific. While tariffs are already low in this region, non-tariff measures (NTMs) remain a key issue in trade in goods. NTMs may bring consequences on sourcing and enforcement costs and may affect the structure of an industry. ASEAN countries have similar patterns of NTM imposition at the product level. International experience shows that regional trade agreements could reduce regulatory distance by 41 percent. The RCEP could bring East Asian countries to improve transparency of their NTMs and encourage mutual recognition.