CITBA Flagships Asian trade in an era of neo protectionism

Asian trade in an era of neo protectionism

Issues in International Trade

Neo-protectionism and non-tariff barriers

In today’s international trading environment, two key areas of research of have emerged. The first of which examines non-protectionist trade policy and the implementation of non-tariff measures, in particular, the use of technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. According to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, WTO members are authorised by the WTO TBT/SPS Agreement to implement a range of protective measures that endeavour to protect human, animal, and plant health as well as a myriad of environment, wildlife, and human safety factors. Based on this clearly Based on a clearly defined and rational explanation for their existence, empirical studies that examine the impact of TBT and SPS on trade have documented findings that elicit different results depending on objectives and time frames being measured.

The WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism

Since the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) came into being in 1995, the institutional body has played an integral role in resolving disputes that emerge following the implementation of international trade agreements. Introduced as a means of overcoming a major problem of its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the DSU is a more rule-oriented system, applying public international law. Any WTO member is able to launch a formal complaint about the trade practices of any other member through a formal procedure that includes consultations, a panel decision, an appeal, adoption, and implementation. The process is mandatory, once a complainant files a request for consultation, the case proceeds along a specified timeline to its conclusion. Given the complicated nature of the dispute settlement system, our flagship examines the factors that influence developing countries’ participation in the dispute settlement mechanism.

Research Team 

Associate Professor Jacob, Wood - Project Lead

Professor Jie Wu (CITBA Research Fellow)

Professor Lee-Chae Jang (CITBA Senior Research Fellow)

Professor Jungsuk Kim (CITBA Senior Research Fellow)

Projects and Activities 

Project 1: A Study on the Effects of Technical Barriers to Trade Articles in Free Trade Agreements on Korea Exports

Project 2: The impact of TBT and SPS measures on Domestic value-added exports: Evidence from the United States

Project 3: Is the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism Fair? A Comparative analysis of developed and developing countries


The sustainability of the WTO dispute settlement system: does it work for developing countries? Journal of World Trade.

The impact of TBT and SPS measures on Japanese and Korean exports to China. Sustainability.

An analysis of the trends and determinants of intra-industry trade between China and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries. The Singapore Economic Review.

Some applications of interval-valued subsethood measures which are defined by interval-valued Choquet integrals in trade exports between Korea and its trading partners. Journal of Computational Analysis and Applications.

Service sector development in Asia: an important instrument of growth. Asian-Pacific Economic Literature.

On the CEU-degree of similarity in international trade by using the Choquet integral expected utility. Journal of Computational Analysis and Applications.

Contact: A/Prof Jacob Wood