Non-Tariffs Trade Barriers

Y'all,

The term is being used time and again by the MSM.  What exactly are Non-Tariffs trade barriers?  I heard a CNBC talking head say the US will put tariffs on some of our exports ... WHAT?  BMW is jacking up prices of some SUVs manufactured in SC by 7-9 % because of the new tariffs ... WHAT?

I can see the VAT (19-25 %) that added to the German 10.5 % duty makes US-made cars unaffordable to the German consumers.

I can see the annual tax Germany levies on cars based on engine displacement as a non-tariff barrier:  BMWs and VWs have smaller engine that those on the cars they sell here, and that Germen engine-displacement tax is prohibitive, mark my words!

Will Germany ever purchase LNG from the US when they can pipe cheaper NG from Russia?  What is the German VAT on LNG and NG?

Thanks

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A non-tariff barrier can be anything from an absolute prohibition to import, such as the EU prohibition on foodstuffs made with "GMO," or genetically modified organisms, to a quota system, to something really crass as delayed inspections (or through inspections) by customs officials - a favorite of the Chinese. 

The US has gone big on GMO grains, mostly so that they are resistant to the widespread (and dangerous) use of Roundup, a very dangerous weed killer.  The EU will not permit imports of GMO foods. So by using GMO seeds, the US farmer is being excluded from traditional protected European agriculture markets. 

Quotas exist where the importing country wants to protect some portion of the domestic market for its own producers.  You will see that in seafood.  I think (but not sure) that US shrimp is protected by quotas on farmed shrimp from Vietnam.  

If you are exporting heads of lettuce to China and they want to break your balls, then the Chinese port inspectors go and inspect every single head of lettuce individually.  Your shipment will rot before it clears the docks.  Or they will hold your boat, or your containers, aside in some queue that they dream up, and not even get around to doing the inspections for three weeks.  Open the container doors and your product is all spoiled.  Classic for the Chinese to pull that. The Mob used to do that in the Fulton Fish Market down in New York City until Giuliani became the Mayor, he sent in squads of police and broke the Mafia, no more payola to get your truck unloaded before the fish all rotted. 

I don't think there is a VAT on imported gas.  VAT typically applies to the final sale, not to sales to distributors. 

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