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Imposition of New Trade Restrictive Measures Slows Slightly

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The World Trade Organization reports that members of the G-20 imposed 112 new trade restrictive measures from mid-November 2013 to mid-May 2014, down from 116 during the previous six-month period. The report notes that this drop comes as the volume of world merchandise trade is expected to grow by 4.7% in 2014 and 5.3% in 2015, both of which are “significantly” higher rates than 2013.

As in the past, the WTO states, trade remedy actions accounted for more than half (66) of the new restrictive measures applied. There were also 25 import measures, 17 export measures and four other measures. There were fewer trade remedy and import measures compared to the previous review period (which totaled 70 and 36, respectively) but more export and other measures (up from eight and two, respectively). The share of imports covered by the restrictions in place during the most recent period was 0.3 percent for the G-20 (down from 1.1 percent) and 0.2 percent for the world (down from 0.9 percent).

The report adds that the vast majority (934) of the 1,185 trade restrictive measures recorded since October 2008 remain in place. Cumulatively, import restrictive measures (excluding those that have been reported as terminated) are estimated to have covered around 4.1 percent of world merchandise imports and around 5.2 percent of G-20 imports.

At the same time, the number of trade liberalizing measures taken during the most recent period is significantly larger than in the previous period in both absolute (93, up from 57) and relative (45 percent of all recorded measures, up from 33 percent) terms. Import facilitating measures introduced during this period cover around 0.4 percent of world merchandise imports and 0.6 percent of G-20 merchandise imports.

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