Background

G-20 economies introduced more trade-facilitating than trade-restrictive measures on goods and services in recent months, according to a recent report from the World Trade Organization, but export restrictions were introduced at a faster pace.

According to the report, during the period mid-May through mid-October 2022 G-20 economies implemented 66 new trade-facilitating measures with a trade value of $451.8 billion and 47 new trade-restrictive measures with a trade value of $160.1 billion.

However, the stockpile of G-20 import restrictions in force has grown steadily since 2009, both in value terms and as a percentage of world imports. As of mid-October 11.6 percent of G-20 imports were affected by such restrictions, up from 10.9 percent during the previous period.

In addition, WTO members still had in place 52 export restrictions on food, feed, and fertilizers as well as 27 export restrictions on products essential to combat COVID-19. Of these, 44 percent and 63 percent, respectively, were maintained by G20 economies.

The report states that over the past five months the implementation of new COVID-19-related trade measures (both those that facilitate and those that restrict trade) by G20 economies decelerated and the number of new support measures to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic also fell sharply. G20 economies also continued to phase out pandemic-related import and export measures, with 77 percent of export restrictions repealed as of mid-October and only 17 still in place (covering $122.0 billion in trade value).

Further, initiations of trade remedy investigations by G20 economies declined sharply, to 17, after a peak in 2020 that was the highest since 2009. Antidumping measures continued to be the most frequent trade remedy action in terms of initiations and terminations.

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