The four BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - are responsible for implementing a third of trade protections worldwide.
Some of the most extensive monitoring of countries' use of trade-restrictive tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) is being undertaken by the Global Trade Alert (GTA), which independently monitors protectionist practices that affect world trade. The Global Trade Alert catalogs countries' use of as many as twenty different forms of NTBs, compiling a database of over 2,000 such practices. NTBs matter because while tariff levels have been reduced in many countries, the effect of those decreases has been tempered by a corresponding rise in the use of NTBs. In fact, it's likely that non-tariff measures now have a greater impact on world trade than tariffs. The 9th GTA Report finds that the four BRIC countries alone are responsible for implementing a third of trade protections worldwide. Ranked by the number of almost certainly discriminatory measures imposed that hurt foreign commercial interests, the four BRICs all place in the world top ten offenders, with Russia placing second with 105 measures, India sixth with 50, Brazil seventh with 44, and China ninth with 42. When measured by the number of foreign trading partners affected by countries' discriminatory trade measures, China places third in the world with 172 trading partners affected. Such mercantilist practices continue to significantly distort global trade, making it incumbent for policymakers worldwide both to resist the temptation to introduce such protectionist practices and to vigorously push back on them when they occur.