June 25, 2019
WTO report finds trade restrictions keep rising within G20 countries
The World Trade Organization's (WTO) 21st Monitoring Report on G20 trade measures issued this week shows that turbulence in global trade continued during the last six-month period (October 2018 to May 2019).
The previous period saw a record level of new restrictive measures introduced. Most of these measures remain in place and have now been added to by a series of new measures in the current period which are also of a historically high level.
In addition, several significant trade-restrictive measures are being considered for potential later implementation. This further compounds the challenges and uncertainty faced by governments, businesses and consumers in the current global economic environment.
In terms of numbers, G20 economies implemented 20 new trade-restrictive measures between mid-October 2018 and mid-May 2019, including tariff increases, import bans and new customs procedures for exports.
While fewer measures were introduced during this review period than in previous periods, the scale of those measures is much increased in terms of their trade coverage and the level of tariffs imposed.
A total of 29 new measures aimed at facilitating trade, including eliminating or reducing import tariffs, export duties and eliminating or simplifying customs procedures for exports were also applied by G20 economies. At four new trade-facilitating measures per month, this is the lowest monthly average registered since 2012.
The G20 economies are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Republic of Korea, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the European Union.