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Slight deceleration in trade restrictive steps in G-20: WTO

PTI 16 Jun 2015, 7:14:41 AM IST

Geneva: The G-20 economies witnessed a "slight deceleration" in application of new trade-restrictive measures, with average number of such steps imposed per month falling to the lowest since 2013, a WTO report said on Monday.

However, the report called for continued vigilance and reinforced determination towards eliminating the existing trade restrictions.

"G-20 economies between mid-October 2014 and mid-May 2015 implemented fewer trade-restrictive measures per month than at any time since 2013. At the same time, the introduction of trade liberalising measures among the G-20 members remained stable.

"These positive developments confirm that G-20 economies have shown some restraint in introducing new trade restrictions while continuing to introduce measures that facilitate the flow of trade," the WTO's 13th trade monitoring report on G-20 trade measures said.

It has covered the period from 16 October 2014 to 15 May 2015. G-20 is a grouping of developed and developing economies. Its members include the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, China and India.

The report said that despite these recent trends, it is not yet clear that the deceleration in the number of measures introduced will continue in future reporting periods.

"Therefore, continued vigilance and reinforced determination towards eliminating existing trade restrictions remains an important priority," it added.

Trade restrictive measures include mandatory local source requirement and others.

Further, it added that the long-term trend remains one of concern with the overall stock of trade-restrictive measures introduced by G-20 economies since 2008 continuing to rise.

"Of the 1,360 restrictions recorded by this exercise since 2008, less than a quarter have been eliminated, leaving the total number of restrictive measures still in place at 1,031.

Therefore, despite the G-20 pledge to roll back any new protectionist measures the stock of these measures has risen by over 7 per cent since the last report," it said.

The report also said that among the emerging nations, China and India have continued to outpace other major economies.

"GDP growth remained positive in China (7 per cent), Brazil (1 per cent), and India (7.8 per cent) in the second half of last year," it said.