G20 economies show restraint in using trade restrictions amid continued instability – India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News


According to the 27th WTO trade monitoring report on G20 trade measures published on July 7, G20 economies have continued to exercise restraint in the use of restrictive trade measures despite growing economic uncertainty compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has called on G20 countries, and WTO members as a whole, to show that the international community can work together to defuse tensions and ensure a strong economic recovery .

“This report comes at a time when the global economy is facing several challenges. As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions with serious implications for millions of people, including for their food security. It is against this backdrop of economic and trade uncertainty that G20 economies must exercise restraint in implementing trade restrictive measures and show leadership in supporting open and mutually beneficial trade,” said DG Okonjo-Iweala.

The G20 trade monitoring report refers to the recent 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) from June 12-17, which achieved unprecedented multilaterally negotiated outcomes.

“At MC12, we saw that with the requisite political will, the international community can deliver on a wide range of issues and respond to the world’s most pressing issues, especially when global solutions are needed to address pandemic and food insecurity, tackle environmental challenges and foster greater socio-economic inclusion. I urge the G20 to leverage this momentum to defuse trade tensions to spur investment, growth and job creation,” noted DG Okonjo-Iweala.

During the review period covered by the report (mid-October 2021 to mid-May 2022), the estimated trade coverage of regular import facilitation measures introduced by G20 countries (USD 581.5 billion) increased greatly exceeded the trade coverage of the restrictive import measures ($18.2 billion).

The beginning of the reporting period provided encouraging news for a post-pandemic economic recovery, but the appearance of the Omicron variant and the conflict in Ukraine had a significant impact on trade flows due to the specific trade-related measures adopted in response to crises. .

The Omicron outbreak saw COVID-19 cases and deaths rise sharply in the first quarter of 2022 and, more recently, strict containment measures in China have disrupted production and trade at a time when pressures from supply seemed to be diminishing. The report says the shutdowns could lead to further shortages of intermediate and final goods, compounding supply chain issues and inflationary pressures.

During the reporting period, twelve COVID-19 measures on goods were communicated by G20 economies, mostly changes to existing measures initially implemented at the start of the pandemic or removal of other measures.

Likewise, the flow of new COVID-19 related support measures by G20 economies to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic has decreased significantly over the past seven months. In services sectors, no new COVID-19 related measures were reported during the review period, but many measures introduced in 2020 were still in effect and others were extended.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, 156 trade and trade-related measures related to COVID-19 have been implemented by G20 economies. Of these, 113 (72 percent) were of a trade-facilitating nature, with trade coverage estimated at USD 111.8 billion. Forty-three (28 percent) could be considered trade restrictive with an estimated trade coverage of USD 95.7 billion.

Export restrictions accounted for 93 per cent of all restrictive measures implemented, and more than half of them were removed during the review period, meaning that 19 export restrictions export remained in place.

The war in Ukraine was another factor that weighed on trade during the review period. The Secretariat identified 14 export restrictive measures put in place by five G20 economies during the reporting period in response to the conflict. These included quotas, temporary bans or technical and administrative requirements limiting exports (or re-exports) of a wide range of agricultural products such as wheat, cereals, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil and other vegetable oils, soy products, sugar and flour. . Various petroleum products and fertilizers were also subject to export restrictions.

In addition, eight import facilitation measures adopted by ten G20 members were identified by the Secretariat during the reporting period in response to the conflict, including the reduction and/or elimination of import and other duties as well as the elimination of import quotas on various agricultural products (including wheat, rice, flour, edible oils, cereals and meat) and on petroleum products. Five G20 economies have suspended tariffs on all imports from Ukraine.

According to the Secretariat’s preliminary estimates, the trade coverage of restrictive export measures taken by G20 economies in response to the conflict (excluding sanctions) was estimated at USD 52.2 billion. The trade covered by the import facilitation measures amounted to USD 28.7 billion.

The report also mentions 43 specific trade and trade-related sanctions in the area of ​​trade in goods and 36 in the area of ​​services imposed on the Russian Federation by G20 economies. In the area of ​​intellectual property, several G20 economies have implemented measures and sanctions that may indirectly affect the maintenance and licensing of intellectual property rights (IPRs).

Overall, the trade monitoring report notes that the stock of G20 import restrictions in place has grown steadily since 2009, both in value and as a percentage of global imports. As of mid-May 2022, 10.9% of G20 imports were affected by import restrictions implemented by G20 economies since 2009 and which remain in place.

Regarding trade remedy initiations, the average number during the review period was the lowest since 2012 after peaking in 2020. The report indicates that trade remedy measures remain an important trade policy tool for traders. G20 economies, accounting for 46% of all non-COVID-19 related trade measures on recorded goods.

WTO Trade Monitoring Reports have been prepared by the WTO Secretariat since 2009. Members of the G20 are: Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Canada; China; the European Union; France; Germany; India; Indonesia; Italy; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Mexico; The Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; South Africa; Turkey ; The United Kingdom; and the United States.

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