WTO’s 16th monitoring report on G20 trade measures November 2016

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Trade restrictive measures have increased

“The number of new measures remains high and the rollback of existing trade-restrictive measures continues 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 steady accumulation of trade-restrictive measures since the financial crisis has gradually increased the share of global trade affected by such restrictions.”

Growth has stagnated in H1 2016 

“World trade growth stagnated in the first half of 2016, with a sharper than expected decline in merchandise trade volume in the first quarter (-1.1% quarter-on-quarter, as measured by the average of seasonally-adjusted exports and imports), followed by a smaller than anticipated rebound in the second quarter (+0.3%). Year-on-year, merchandise trade growth was essentially flat compared to the same period in 2015.

…and is expected to be slow overall 2016

“The number of new trade-restrictive measures being introduced still remains worryingly high given continuing global economic uncertainty and the WTO’s downward revision of its trade forecasts, predicting 1.7% world merchandise trade volume growth in 2016, from its earlier forecast of 2.8%. If this revised forecast is realized, this would mark the slowest pace of trade and output growth since the financial crisis of 2009.”


WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo

The concerns people have

“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. Many people are struggling with unemployment or low paying jobs and are concerned about broader changes in the economy. These concerns demand a concerted response from governments and the international community. One step will be for G20 members to deliver on their commitment to refrain from imposing new trade-restrictive measures and roll back existing ones.”