This thesis aims to shed light on the persistence of non-tariff measures in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). It begins with an analysis of the issues on compliance with, and effectiveness of, the region’s international law instruments relating to non-tariff measures. The persistence of non-tariff measures may be due to the trade regime’s inability to provide the Member States with sufficient incentives to comply with their obligations. This is followed by a look into the Member States’ underlying motivations. It is noteworthy that the persistence of non-tariff measures coincided with significant structural changes in the region’s economies. This thesis shows how these structural changes may have influenced the preferences of different actors in the Member States for non-tariff measures. The last part of this thesis builds upon these insights and extends the analysis to an examination of the underlying determinants of trade policy in the region. The results indicate that economic factors do matter. Additionally, the degree of political insulation and accountability may affect how governments respond to these societal preferences, as reflected in laws, policies, and regulations.

Thus, non-tariff measures persist in ASEAN because its trade regime failed to overcome the policymakers’ interests in catering to the societal preferences for different kinds of trade measures.

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M.G. Faure (Michael) , E. Carbonara (Emanuela)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
EDLE - The European Doctorate in Law and Economics programme
Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics

Hirang, G.G. (2019, February 28). The Persistence of Non-Tariff Measures in ASEAN. EDLE - The European Doctorate in Law and Economics programme. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from