WTO warns against increasing trade-restrictive measures in G20 countries
The G20 economies, a group of developed and developing countries, have imposed as many as 40 new trade-restrictive measures such as high customs duties and import bans between 16 May and 15 October this year, according to a WTO report.
This represents an average of eight restrictive measures per month, which is higher than the almost six measures recorded during the previous review period (mid-October 2017 to mid-May 2018), it said Thursday.
"A total of 40 new trade-restrictive measures were applied by G20 economies during the review period, including tariff increases, import bans and export duties," the report said.
Director General of Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO) Roberto Azevedo said the report's findings should be of serious concern for G20 governments and the whole international community.
"Further escalation remains a real threat. If we continue along the current course, the economic risks will increase, with potential effects for growth, jobs and consumer prices around the world," he said.
He added that the WTO is taking steps to support efforts to de-escalate the situation, but finding solutions will require political will and it will require leadership from the G20.
The report too stated that the proliferation of trade restrictive actions could place economic recovery in jeopardy.
It also said that these countries continued to initiate a higher number of new trade remedy investigations, including anti-dumping probe compared to the number of such terminated by them.
However, it said that these nations implemented 33 new measures, including eliminating or reducing import tariffs and export duties to facilitate trade during the review period.
The G20 economies are India, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, the US, and the European Union.
(With inputs from agencies.)