WTO: Restrictive Trade Measures Continue to Rise in G-20 Economies

Par Robert Robillard - 14 novembre 2014

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From the World Trade Organization website:

« The report says that of the 1,244 restrictive measures recorded since the onset of the crisis in 2008, only 282 have been removed. Over the past year, the number of restrictive measures in place has increased by 12 per cent. However, the number of restrictive measures affecting exports declined significantly from mid-May to mid-October 2014. The report also underlines that the overall trade policy response to the crisis has been significantly more muted than originally expected. »

How can this be reconciled, with a straight face, with the BEPS initiative based on multilateral cooperation?

Worth a smile indeed…

Here are the « Key Findings of WTO Report on G-20 Trade Measures »:

  • « This report shows that the stock of restrictive trade measures introduced by G-20 economies since 2008 continues to rise despite the pledge to roll back any new protectionist measures that may have arisen.
  • Continuing uncertainties in the global economy underline the need for G20 economies to show restraint in the imposition of new measures and to effectively eliminate existing ones.
  • Of the 1,244 restrictive measures recorded by this exercise since the onset of the crisis in 2008, only 282 have been removed. The total number of restrictive measures still in place now stands at 962 – up by 12% from the end of the reporting period in November 2013.
  • G-20 economies applied 93 new trade‑restrictive measures during the period between mid‑May and mid-October. This equates to over 18 new measures per month, which is unchanged compared to the previous period. A positive development saw the number of restrictive measures affecting exports decline significantly during the period.
  • G-20 economies introduced 79 trade‑liberalizing measures during the period under review. Measured per month this figure is also unchanged compared to the previous period.
  • Greater transparency is needed from G-20 members in order to improve the understanding of the operation and effects of non-tariff barriers to trade. These behind-the-border measures include regulatory measures and subsidies.
  • While this report shows that the stock of new trade‑restrictive measures has continued to rise, it also supports the conclusion that the overall trade policy response to the 2008 crisis has been significantly more muted than expected based on previous crises. The multilateral trading system has acted as an effective backstop against protectionism. »

To see the full report click here.

Robert Robillard, CPA, CGA, MBA, M.Sc. Econ.
Transfer Pricing Chief Economist, RBRT Inc.
514-742-8086; robert.robillard « at » localhost
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