Elliot J. Feldman was the keynote speaker opening an applied International Trade Workshop in Beijing on March 21, sponsored by the University of International Business and Economics of Beijing and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTAD”). The conference, on “Non Tariff Measures and Chinese Foreign Trade,” comes at a time when there has been growing concern about global protectionism advanced by non-tariff measures, especially in China. UNCTAD is launching a major survey effort to identify non-tariff measures and to design strategies to deal with them.
Dr. Feldman was the only attorney invited to the workshop, the only speaker during the two-day conference from the private sector, and one of only two Americans. Others were university professors, international and Chinese civil servants, almost all economists specializing in trade and international development. The second American on the program was Michael Ferrantino, the Lead International Economist at the United States International Trade Commission.
Dr. Feldman emphasized how difficult it can be to identify non-tariff measures and to distinguish them from legitimate concerns about public health and safety. He shared experiences from his practice in which non tariff measures have played an important role in international trade disputes, applauded the project to create a taxonomy of non-tariff measures globally and to seek a strategy for minimizing them, and urged the workshop participants to promote an understanding of the underlying political and economic motivations for erecting such trade barriers so that compromises can be reached protecting public health and safety legitimately while minimizing impediments to international trade.
Please click here to read the text of Dr. Feldman’s address.