Trade Policy, Standards, and Development in Central America
Gary Clyde Hufbauer
Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; Institute for International Economics
Barbara R Kotschwar
Organization of American States
John S. Wilson
World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2576
Faster economic growth and expansion of exports in Central America in the 21st century will depend on many factors. These include efficient and modern standards systems and an end to technical barriers to trade. Regional efforts can be an efficient way to modernize standards systems.
After reviewing the current state of standards and trade in Central America, Hufbauer, Kotschwar, and Wilson suggest top priorities for reform from a trade policy perspective in a new and increasingly important area of public policy and development. They conclude that it makes sense to:
- Take a regional rather than a national approach to setting up accreditation, testing, and metrology infrastructure - to share equipment, experts, and information to get more bang out of limited funding.
- Promote regional bodies as venues for Central American countries to develop common positions in international discussions of the development of standards.
- Regionalize information-gathering efforts and use information technology to disseminate that information rapidly.
- Push for a sunset clause in international standards development, because standards have value only if adopted and used.
This paper - a product of Trade, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to build capacity and explore links between trade, development, and standards. The authors may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Date posted: April 20, 2016