WTO report finds trade restrictions among G20 countries at historic high

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) November Trade Monitoring Report shows that G20 economies introduced import-restrictive measures covering an estimated USD 460.4 billion worth of traded merchandise from mid-May to mid-October 2019.

This represents a 37% increase over the previous period going back to mid-October 2018, and is second only to the USD 480.9 billion coverage of import-restricting measures reported between mid-May and mid-October 2018.

The G20 economies implemented 28 new trade-restrictive measures between mid-mid-May and mid-October 2019, mainly tariff increases, import bans and stricter customs procedures for imports.

The report notes that with restrictions accumulating over time, the share of global trade covered by such measures has soared. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo called on G20 economies to de-escalate trade tensions to spur investment, growth and job creation.

During the review period, the monthly average of initiations of trade remedy actions by G20 economies was the highest registered since 2012, and the monthly average of trade remedy terminations recorded in this Report was the second-lowest since 2012. The trade coverage of trade remedy initiations was estimated at USD 16.7 billion and that of terminations at USD 3.8 billion.

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