OECD Trade Policy Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected trade policy studies prepared for use within the OECD.

NB. No. 1 to No. 139 were released under the previous series title OECD Trade Policy Working Papers.


Export Restrictions

Benefits of Transparency and Good Practices

Recent years have witnessed an ever-increasing resort to export restrictions in the markets for raw materials, causing heightened uncertainty about supply availability together with friction among trading partners. Poor transparency can amplify and compound the effects of restrictive trade policies. This paper explores the issue of transparency with respect to the use of export restrictions, especially focusing on the question of what information governments applying them make publicly available. After explaining how transparency is operationalised in the conduct of trade policy and what its benefits are for trading firms, investors and other stakeholders, in importing countries inasmuch as in the economies applying export restrictions, the paper reviews applicable rules and commitments elaborated in GATT/WTO, regional trade agreements and other sources of rules. The review shows an evolutive, cumulative path towards greater transparency in trade policy over time and distills best-practice principles and tools specifically aiming at the provision of information. The last section of the paper applies a checklist of information elements consistent with these best practices to the study of actual national information policies. This is done by examining the content of public information on export restrictions in the minerals sector that is made available on the governmental websites of 33 countries that make use of such measures. The exercise suggests where national information policies appear to have gaps and could be improved. It also provides illustrations of country approaches for delivering such information in a comprehensive and efficient manner.


Keywords: export restrictions, export taxes, export quotas, GATT, minerals, transparency, trade policy, information, WTO
JEL: F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; K33: Law and Economics / Other Substantive Areas of Law / International Law; F53: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations; F55: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Institutional Arrangements
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