The World Trade Organization's 2012 World Trade Report finds that non-tariff measures are almost twice as trade restrictive as tariffs.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the lowering but not elimination of tariffs, countries' use of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) is on the rise. Examples include: quantitative restrictions; price controls; non-tariff charges, unwarranted customs procedures; discriminatory health and safety standards; currency manipulation; discriminatory application of technical standards; and localization barriers to trade (LBTs). For innovation industries, this creates harmful side-effects, including keeping unit costs high, reducing revenues and hampering innovation.