Karl Stern will defend his doctoral thesis titled "Implementation of Non-tariff Trade in the 1930s on the Example of the Republic of Estonia" on 14 September at 16:15 in the University of Tartu. Defence takes place in the senate hall.
Associate Professor Jaak Valge (PhD)
Professor Viesturs Pauls Karnups (PhD), University of Latvia
Description of the problem
World trade is currently regulated to a great extent by the implementation of non-tariff measures. Bilateral and multilateral initiatives have successfully reduced tariff rates in international trade, but it is more difficult to prevent the intensive use of non-tariff measures.
Often they are hidden in legal documents and those who enact them may not have the knowledge or need to assess their impact on trade.
Despite the proliferation of non-tariff measures in international trade during the last few decades, general knowledge about them is limited and the trade policy narrative continues to be focused on tariffs. The same applies to researching trade policies in the historical perspective.
The goal of this thesis is to supplement the international historiography regarding non-tariff measures, based on Estonian specifics, to augment the available economic data on Estonia in the 1930s in international historical writing, and uncover the issues that have been ignored by current historiography.
The task of the thesis is to provide a survey of the implementation of non-tariff measures in Estonia in the 1930s and analyse the reasons for this implementation, and based thereon, to comparing Estonian trade policy with the countries in the sterling bloc, i.e. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, as well as the other Baltic states.
Result and benefit
The results of the analysis show that Estonia did not directly follow in the footsteps of the other countries when it came to devaluation, and left exchange control, as well as a series of other nontariff measures, in place after mid-1933 when the kroon was devalued. At that time, these measures were implemented in order to achieve goals other than the protection of the national currency.
The thesis focuses on the trade policy of world trade countries in a more comprehensive way and reduces its duty-focused narratives. Today's non-tariff trade measures have an impact on international trade even more than in the 1930s, and, as a result, more focus should be put on their research. The results of the doctoral thesis show that the assessment of the trade policy of different countries must deal with all measures affecting the marketing of products, and not focus on only a couple of activities. Following this conclusion creates the prerequisite for more appropriate positioning of the trade policy of different countries more liberal or protectionist.