Has South Africa liberalised its trade?

Year: 2005
Author: Edwards, Lawrence
Unit: ASRU
Journal: South African Journal of Economics
Volume: 73
Issue: 4
Pages: 754-775

This paper uses new tariff data to re-evaluate the extent to which South Africa has liberalised its trade from the late 1980s. The paper finds that significant progress has been made in simplifying South Africa's tariff structure and reducing tariff protection, but further progress can be made in removing tariff peaks, reducing tariff dispersion, and lowering the anti-export bias arising from protection. Further, although protection has fallen, the decline has been no faster than in other lower-middle-income economies. The paper also finds that estimates of the level of nominal and effective protection, and their rate of change, are sensitive to the choice of tariff measure (collection duties or scheduled tariff rates) and Input-Output or Supply-Use table, but that the sectoral structure of protection is largely unaffected.