GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Trade Organisation called on the G20 leading economies on Thursday to begin removing trade barriers thrown up since the 2008 global economic crisis to allow international trade to resume the strong growth it saw at the start of the century.
In its latest report on the problem, the 160-nation body said that of the 1,244 trade-restrictive measures G20 members had introduced over the past six years, 962 remained in force despite a pickup in the world economy.
In addition, the report said, G20 countries were still introducing new measures limiting trade – at the rate of 18 a month over the past year – pushing the total in force up by 12 per cent since November 2013.
Restrictive trade measures can include special tariffs and quotas on goods, but also administrative actions – dubbed behind-the-border measures in trade jargon – like domestic regulations or subsidies to national producers.
Export restrictions can also be used, but the WTO said far fewer of those had been employed by the G20 since 2008.