Politechnic of Porto (School Of Accounting And Management) Porto,
University of The Basque Country,
Greater Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Standards or patterns are important because they promote economic efficiency as well as reduce information-related transaction costs among the different peers (Nadvi and Wältring, 2004). However, these standards often constitute non-tariff barriers applicable to international relations. According to the literature while tariff barriers are increasingly low, non-tariff barriers (eg technical standards and technical regulations relating to the specificity of products and indirectly linked to production processes) are becoming more and more prevalent (Blanco and Bustos, 2004). In other words, it can be said that the importance of international trade in the global economy has grown significantly in the last decades, but, while tariffs, and quantitative restrictions have been reduced or eliminated, other types of barriers of a completely different nature have a fundamental importance and relevance in business relationships particularly as concerns the range of the technical standards (Giovannucci and Ponte, 2005; Henson and Loader, 2001).