DP2747 | Tariff Peaks in the Quad and Least Developed Country Exports

Publication Date


JEL Code(s)


Programme Area(s)



Although average tariffs in Quad markets are very low, tariff peaks and tariff escalation have a disproportional effect on exports from least developed countries (LDCs). Tariff peak products tend to be heavily concentrated in agriculture and food products and in labour-intensive sectors such as apparel and footwear. Full duty and quota free access for LDCs in the Quad for tariff peak products would result in an 11% increase in their total exports - in the order of $2.5 billion. Exports to Quad countries of tariff peak products would expand by 30-60%. Given that LDC exports of tariff peak items account for only a small share of total developing country exports, granting LDCs duty free access has a negligible impact on other developing countries. For the same reason, Quad imports increase only marginally, suggesting that this should not be a factor constraining implementation of duty free access for the poorest countries.