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A new method for assessing the impact of emerging infections on global trade

Author(s) : A.M. Kimball & K. Tanedar

Summary :

In this paper, the authors describe a new method for assessing the impact of emerging infections on global trade flows. When one compares notifications to the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the emergency measures taken to control certain animal and plant diseases with the trade values of certain products from the United Nation’s Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade) (identified through the World Customs Organization’s harmonised system of tariff product codes [HS]), it is possible to estimate the extent to which trade has been diverted from the affected economies. The authors study in detail the example of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). When member countries of the WTO change their import policies towards the goods of a trading partner, as the result of an emerging disease such as BSE, they must file notifications of such changes through the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee of the WTO.

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