WTO monitoring report notes sharp rise in trade-restrictive measures by G20 economies

The World Trade Organization's latest monitoring report found 40 new trade-restrictive measures applied by G20 nations in the period under consideration.

New import-restrictrive measures have a hit a new high in Group of 20 (G20), says the World Trade Organization’s latest monitoring report on G20.
The report found a total of 40 new trade-restrictive measures were applied by G20 economies during the review period from mid-May to mid-October, says a report in Financial Express. These measures include tariff increases, import bans and export duties.
That means an average of eight restrictive measures per month were applied, much higher than the almost six measures that the WTO monitoring report recorded during the previous review period (mid-October 2017 to mid-May 2018).
“This report provides a first factual insight into the trade-restrictive measures which have been introduced over recent months, and which now cover over $480 billion worth of trade,” media reports quoted WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo saying on Thursday.
These findings in the WTO report raise serious concern for G20 governments and the whole international community.
Further escalation remains a real threat, warned the WTO chief warned.
“If we continue along the current course, the economic risks will increase, with potential effects for growth, jobs and consumer prices around the world,” reports quoted Azevedo as saying.
The WTO chief said that while the trade body is working on all it can do to de-escalate the situation, it required G20 leaderships’ efforts to find solutions.
Further, the G20 economies have implemented 33 new measures aimed at facilitating trade during the review period, found the WTO report. These include eliminating or reducing import tariffs and export duties. This is in tune with the 2012-17 trend, with close to seven trade-facilitating measures per month.
The WTO report noted that liberalization associated with the 2015 expansion of the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA) continued to feature as an important contributor to trade facilitation.
Source: FE

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