Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) continued to exercise restraint in imposing trade restrictions according to the WTO Director-General’s mid-year report on trade-related developments covering mid-October 2021 to mid-May 202.
During the review period covered by the report, the estimated trade coverage of the regular (non-COVID-19-related) import-facilitating measures introduced by WTO members (USD 603.2 billion) far exceeded the trade coverage of import-restrictive measures (USD 23.5 billion).
A total of 230 new trade-facilitating and 109 trade-restrictive measures were recorded. These include 32 export restrictions (estimated at USD 69.6 billion) and 18 import-facilitating measures (USD 38.3 billion) put in place in response to the war in Ukraine.
The Secretariat’s ongoing monitoring shows that since the start of the war in late February, 30 members and observers have introduced 55 measures prohibiting or restricting exports of food, feed, fuels and fertilizers. Of these, 15 measures have since been phased out, but 25 members and observers still have 40 measures in place.
After reaching its highest peak in 2020, the average number of trade remedy initiations was the lowest since 2012. Trade remedy actions remain an important trade policy tool for WTO members, accounting for 30% of all non-COVID-19-related trade measures on goods recorded in this report.