19 December 2023
Canadian Custom Brokerage

WTO report shows trade-facilitating trend continues, but export restrictions persist

According to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) latest Trade Monitoring Report, between mid-October 2022 and mid-October 2023, the value of world merchandise trade covered by new trade-facilitating measures far exceeded that affected by new trade restrictive measures, an encouraging trend at a time of uncertainty and tension in the global economy.

Nevertheless, the annual overview of developments in the international trading environment indicates that trade restrictions continue to weigh on global trade, with persistent export restrictions contributing to food price volatility.

The trade coverage of the trade-facilitating measures was estimated at USD 977.2 billion (down from USD 1,160.5 billion in the last annual report), and that of the trade-restrictive measures at USD 337.1 billion (up from USD 278.0 billion in the last report).

During the review period, WTO members introduced more trade-facilitating (303) than trade-restrictive (193) measures on goods. Most of the trade-facilitating measures were on the import side, while the majority of trade restrictions were on the export side. This marked only the third time since the beginning of the Trade Monitoring Exercise in 2009 that the number of new export restrictions (99 or 51% of all) exceeded that of import restrictions (93 or 48%).

The report shows that the pace of implementation of new export restrictions on food, feed and fertilizers by WTO members has increased, and of the 122 such measures introduced since February 2022, 75 remained in place globally as of mid-October 2023.

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