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School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences Working Paper Series, School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

No 05-2015:
China’s Salmon Sanction

Xianwen Chen () and Roberto J. Garcia

Abstract: Angered by the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s awarding of the 2010 Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident, China signalled its displeasure by allegedly applying more stringent regulatory measures and import licensing procedures on Norway’s iconic product, salmon. This has been widely reported in the media internationally, but not formally investigated by the scientific community. Through interviews with stakeholders in the Norway-China salmon trade and examination of trade data, personal accounts corroborate the evidence from trade data that nontariff border measures have been disproportionately applied against Norwegian salmon. These measures have distorted China’s fresh/chilled whole salmon market since 2011, and are likely to have long-term consequences in terms of trade patterns, re-routing and smuggling of salmon, and for quality concerns. Accounting for the transhipped and the smuggled Norwegian salmon via Hong Kong and Vietnam, we challenge the popular misbelief that Norway has lost its majority share in China’s fresh/chilled whole salmon market, but rather has increased its exports, suggesting that these measures have failed to prevent more salmon from entering mainland China’s market. However, the Norwegian government’s refusal to meet the Dalai Lama in May 2014 suggests that the full effect of China’s salmon sanction has made its way upstream to affect Norway’s policy.

Keywords: China; economic sanction; regulatory border measures; import licensing procedures; non-tariff barriers; trade patterns; transhipment; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: F14; F51; Q22; Q27; (follow links to similar papers)

44 pages, March 12, 2015

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