It is difficult to define what trade barriers are in our times.
What is called free trade in our times is not trade as historically practiced and defined.
Defining what is a trade barrier in our times is a difficult thing to do. So called free trade is different from the historical practices and definitions. Free trade today is an economic system that divorces investments from production and moves production anywhere in the world for the sake of cheaper labor markets. The real commodities being traded are workers who are put on a global block to compete for the same jobs down to the levels of wage slave and even child labor. It is about creating money out of nothing and finding ways to grow values. With free trade as it is practiced in our times, the value of workers and labor is degraded and deflated for the sake of profit. This represents trillions of dollars lost forever. The value of workers and labor is a real money standard and perhaps a much better one than the money created out of nothing that needs manipulations in order go grow a value.
The value of workers and labor needs to be in parity with the investments in order for anything to work right. The trade deficit which has broken records for a generation represents trillions of even more dollars lost forever. Just think what all this money could have accomplished not only for the United States but for the whole world. We could have had a dozen Marshall Plans to jump start economies everywhere. The Marshall Plan helped restore European and Asian economies after World War 2. The Marshall Plan was about duplicating successful business models and not about chopping up economies and shipping the pieces around the world for the sake of cheaper labor and more profits for just a few. This process has isolated the free market for only a few to enjoy.
Free trade economics failed. It failed early on in 1995 when President Clinton had to rush billions of dollars to Mexico to save the peso and the Mexican economy from going bankrupt. This happened just about a year after the NAFTA and GATT trade agreements were passed in 1993-94. It happened even though more than 4,000 U.S. factories were moved to Mexico. It is also obvious free trade economics was not working as millions of Mexican workers came to American seeking economic survival.
This bail out which went to a foreign nation actually predicted the next bail out. In 2008, when President Obama became president he had to bail out the process by borrowing trillions of dollars from future generations to keep the U.S. economy afloat. However, he only bailed out big money interests, the financial communities, investments, banks, Wall Street and the "too big to fail" corporations. He ignored the suffering of millions of Americans who lost their jobs and businesses. Many lost everything it took a lifetime to accumulate. This economic model is destined to complete collapse not only in American but across the world. China is showing signs of this today too. tapsearchnews So the question of what a trade barrier is really impossible to answer in our times. The question assumes we are trading products and not the value of workers and labor. And with more than a billion people in the world willing to practically work for nothing to survive it is a race to the bottom.