G20 Nations Issue Fewer Trade Restrictions in Recent Period

G20 economies have introduced fewer trade-restrictive measures since May than the prior period and many more trade-friendly measures, according to a new report from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Nations within the trading block adopted 16 new trade-restrictive measures from May to October, including new or increased tariffs, export restrictions and local content measures; this was about half of the number of measures introduced from mid-October 2016 to May 2017, the WTO said. Meanwhile, G20 economies implemented 28 measures designed to facilitate trade from May to October.

“G20 members have shown restraint in implementing trade-restrictive measures, despite continuing economic uncertainties,” said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo in a press release. “This is positive news and it shows again that the global trading system is working. Nevertheless, the threat of protectionism remains and so I urge G20 countries to redouble their efforts to avoid implementing new trade restrictions and to reverse those measures that are currently in place.”

– Nicholas Stern, managing editor

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