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November 05, 2021

Major economies show restraint in imposing new trade restrictions

According to the latest World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Monitoring Report on G20 trade measures, the World’s major economies have continued to roll back COVID-19-related trade-restrictive measures and demonstrated restraint in the imposition of new ones.

However, the WTO says the value of trade covered by pandemic-related restrictions still in place now exceeds that of trade-facilitating measures,

During the review period (mid-May to mid-October 2021), a limited number of new COVID-19 trade and trade-related measures were recorded for G20 economies on goods, mainly consisting of extensions or terminations of measures originally implemented early in the pandemic.

Similarly, the flow of new COVID-19-related support measures by G20 economies to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic decreased over the past five months. Many of the programmes implemented have being phased out or adjusted to take into account new circumstances and to prepare for the post-pandemic recovery.

Services sectors were heavily impacted by the pandemic, and 65 of the 73 reported COVID-19-related measures affecting trade in services put in place by G20 economies in response to the pandemic are still in force.

Despite the modest number of trade restrictions put in place during this review period, the stockpile of G20 import restrictions has grown steadily since 2009 – both in value terms and as a percentage of world imports. By mid-October 2021, 10.41% of imports by G20 economies were affected by restrictions implemented since 2009 and still in force.

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