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The globalization of economies in recent decades has greatly increased the impact of standards on producers and consumers. The impact is amplified through the formation and organization of global value chains (GVCs), as products have to cross multiple border regimes of which standards is one. Standards can be trade facilitating or otherwise, whether intended or not. Despite this ambiguity, standards are becoming increasingly prevalent. A conceptual framework that clarifies the rationale behind standards, the processes involved in setting and meeting standards, and the mechanisms through which they influence GVCs, will enhance stakeholders’ understanding and help them anticipate the impact of standards.
This paper will look at standards and their related conformity assessment procedures through the lens of GVCs. It starts with an elaboration of the different rationales behind standards, followed by a brief illustration of the input and output process of standards development and application. It continues with an introduction to standards in GVCs and their implications. It closes with recommendations for policy.
This report reflects work in progress and the views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Fung Global Institute. The authors are solely responsible for any errors or omissions.