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EU report highlights concerns over rise in protectionism across G20

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In a monitoring report issued today the European Commission finds a lack of progress in the reduction of trade barriers within the group of G20 countries.

It concludes that G20 members have to do more to stick to their initial commitment to refrain from introducing new barriers to trade since the break-out of the crisis. The report counts no less than 424 restrictive measures to open trade since the start of the Commission's monitoring in October 2008. In the past 12 months alone, 131 new restrictions have been introduced while only 40 have been removed.

The main conclusions of the report:

  • Between October 2010 and 1 September 2011, 131 new trade restrictive measures have been introduced by the EU's trading partners. This brings the total figure of measures in force since the beginning of the crisis to 424 (as compared to 333 the year before).

  • The strong economic recovery in many countries - notably in emerging economies - has not translated into a reversal of this tendency, given that about 17% (76) only of all measures have so far been removed or lapsed. The state of G20 countries' compliance with their roll-back commitment is clearly below the expected.

  • New industrial policies of several G20 members raise concerns about open trade and investment, as they are often based on import substitution, local content requirements and restrictions in public procurement. In emerging countries, a lot of trade restrictive measures have been locked in as part of national industrialisation plans.

 

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