A Multidimensional Approach to Trade Policy Indicators
We present and discuss a set of indicators to help assess countries’ trade policies. The indicators relate to three policy areas ？ trade in goods, trade in services, and FDI. Given concerns about the direction of global trade policy, we also consider a set of more granular measures that reflect the evolution of countries’ policies since the 2008 financial crisis. We propose a simple approach to present the multidimensional aspects of trade policy that, by shedding light on relative openness across areas, can facilitate policy discussions. In the cross-section of countries, we find a diversity in the type of measures adopted, both between and (since the 2008 financial crisis) within policy areas, lending support to the approach based on multiple indicators. The indicators’ time series suggest that advanced and, especially, emerging economies are moving toward more open regimes over time, although recently progress has, with some exceptions, slowed across the board. Lastly, our findings also call for stronger efforts to objectively quantify the different aspects of countries’ trade regimes. More data, both across countries and in terms of policy areas that significantly affect trade, are needed for better-informed policy discussions.