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Trade-restrictive measures by G20 economies remains high: WTO

WTO Thursday expressed concern over increase in the number of trade-restrictive measures by G20 economies amid a continuing global economic uncertainty.


Trade-restrictive measures by G20 economies remains high: WTO

Geneva: WTO Thursday expressed concern over increase in the number of trade-restrictive measures by G20 economies amid a continuing global economic uncertainty.

G20 includes Australia, China, European Union, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, UK and the US. It represents 85 percent of the world's economy, 75 percent of trades and two-thirds of the world's population.

A total of 85 new trade-restrictive measures were implemented by G20 economies during the review period (mid-May to mid-October 2016).

This is an average of 17 new measures per month, down from 21 imposed in the previous reporting period (mid-October 2015 to mid-May 2016).

"The number of trade-restrictive measures applied by G20 economies remains high, despite a slight decline against the previous period.

This is of particular concern given the continuing global economic uncertainty and the WTO's recent downward revision of its trade forecasts," the Geneva-based multilateral body said in its 16th monitoring report on Group of 20 (G20) trade measures.

It said the number of new measures remain high and the rollback of existing trade-restrictive measures continue to be slow.

In addition, the rate of trade facilitating measures applied each month declined against the previous period, and remains considerably below the 2009-2015 trend, the WTO added.

Director-General Roberto Azevedo said that the continued introduction of trade-restrictive measures is a real and persistent concern.

"Tangible evidence of G20 progress in eliminating existing measures remains elusive. It is clear that the financial crisis has had a long tail and that the world economy remains in a precarious state," he said.

He said these concerns demand a concerted response from governments and the international community and one step could be for G20 members to deliver on their commitment to refrain from imposing new trade-restrictive measures and roll back existing ones.

Further, the report said that metal products (in particular steel), chemicals, and plastics and rubber account for the largest share of anti-dumping and countervailing initiations during the review period.

"Of the 1,671 trade-restrictive measures recorded for G20 economies since 2008, only 408 had been removed by mid-October 2016. The overall stock of measures has increased by 5.6 percent compared to the previous report - with the total number of restrictive measures still in place now standing at 1,263," it added.

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