WTO: Global trade hampered by import restrictions

World Trade Organization (WTO) members implemented 165 trade-restrictive measures out of the 363 new trade and trade-related measures between October 2019 and May 2020, accounting for 45 percent.

The new restrictions covered merchandise worth an estimated $ 423.1 billion.

According to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, the report reveals that world trade continues to be affected by import-restrictive measures, at a time when economies will need trade to rebuild from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

But he added that WTO members also introduced import-facilitating measures on an impressive scale, and began scaling back trade restrictions introduced earlier in the pandemic.

Fifty-six new trade-restrictive measures were not related to the pandemic, mainly stricter export customs procedures, export duties, import bans, and tariff increases.

Out of the total new measures, 256 were pandemic-related, accounting for 71 percent of the total trade and trade-related measures.

These pandemic-related measures could be categorized in two waves.
In the early stages of the pandemic, several of the restricted the free flow of trade.

By the middle of May, 57 percent of all measures facilitated trade.

The report also showed that WTO members were moving towards trade-facilitating policies during the period, implementing 51 new trade-facilitating measures not related to Covid-19.

These measures consisted mainly of eliminating import taxes, eliminating or reducing import tariffs, reducing export duties, and simplifying customs procedures.


Source: https://www.econotimes.com/WTO-Global-trade-hit-hard-by-new-import-restrictions-1588426

 

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