East Asian Integration and Its Main Challenge: NTMs in Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and New Zealand
While East Asia has been moving forward with its regional integration agenda, one main challenge remains and is growing – non-tariff measures (NTMs). Animal, vegetable, and food products tend to be more regulated than other products, largely due to quality and safety standards. NTMs affect 66%–98% of total trade in those sectors. Our paper presents the frequency index, coverage ratio, and prevalence score to measure NTMs in the region. They are highest amongst food, vegetable, and animal products; and vary amongst other products, depending on the economy. We find that the high frequency index of NTMs does not necessarily translate to a high value of coverage ratio for trade. One explanation could be that countries tend to regulate imported goods which compete with the domestic products more than imported goods which they need.