Technical Barriers to Trade in Agricultural Products


There has been no systematic evaluation work on the trade distortion effect of TBTs from a global perspective. It is difficult to conceptualise the effect of many TBTs and there’s been no attempt to develop a framework for comparative evaluations. Past work has been confined to isolated issues for specific products in specific markets. MLA and Dairy Australia have invested in projects to identify and evaluate the TBTs in markets of interest. The aim was to establish the extent of TBT impediments and assess their impact to provide guidance on reform priorities and representation efforts. These results provide an indication of the trade impediments caused by TBTs from the perspective of one export supplier. Estimates of trade distortion effects reflect the impact on Australian exports. The information assembled for these studies provide a solid base for assessing the effect of TBTs from a multilateral perspective.


National Rural Issues

Research Organisation

D. N. Harris & Associates

Objective Summary

An economic evaluation of the incidence and effects of agricultural TBTs would be a timely and useful contribution to Australia’s trade negotiation efforts in international forums. It would inform policy development and support DFAT advocacy efforts. Australia’s export industries are affected by an assortment of TBTs in various markets. A report on the nature and impact of TBTs will provide guidance on reform priorities and resource allocations to representation efforts at a political and technical (DAF) level. It will also inform industry policy development and provide an indication of the potential for collaboration with other export suppliers on specific reform initiatives. Elevating global interest in TBT reform requires a study with a multilateral perspective. Analysis confined to an Australian viewpoint will be less effective. Other exporters will become more engaged in the issue if the analysis provides evidence of the impact on their trade outcomes. The project needs to examine TBTs for a selection of products in import markets that reflect the interests of different export suppliers.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Project Completion Date

Monday, June 15, 2015

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Safeguarding Australia

National Priority

Advanced Technology

National Priority

NRI-National Rural Issues


Related publications


Structural Adjustment in Regional Australia - Learning from experience, improving future responses