Grain is unloaded from a bulk carrier ship docked at the Nantong Cereals & Oils Transfer Co. facility at the Port of Nantong in this aerial photograph taken above Nantong, Jiangsu province, China. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

G20 Nations Impose 39 New Trade-Restrictive Measures In Seven Months

G20 members including India and the U.S. have applied as many as 39 new trade-restrictive measures such as higher duties and taxes as also stricter customs procedures during seven months to mid-May, a WTO report has said.

The trade-restrictive measures in G20 economies have doubled compared to the previous review period, the report added. "This equates to an average of almost six restrictive measures per month, which is significantly higher than the three measures recorded during the previous review period," the World Trade Organisation said.

G20 is a group of developed and developing countries which also includes Australia, Brazil, China, France, U.K., EU, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo said the marked increase in such measures among G20 economies should be of "real concern" to the international community.

Additional trade-restrictive measures have been announced in the weeks since this reporting period and therefore the deterioration in trade relations may be even worse than that recorded here.
Roberto Azevêdo, Director General, WTO

He said this continued escalation poses a “serious threat” to the global trade growth.

The report comes against the backdrop of trade wars intensifying globally, led by the U.S. and China, in the past couple of months.

Increase in trade restrictive steps is not a good news for India as it would impact exports growth of the country. It is taking several steps to promote the outbound shipments, which helps create employment opportunities, earn foreign exchange and boost economic activities.

Since 2011-12, India’s exports have been hovering at around $300 billion. During 2017-18, shipments grew by about 10 percent to $303 billion.

The report also added that the G20 economies implemented 47 measures to facilitate trade during this review period. These included elimination or cut in tariffs, simplified import and export customs procedures and reduction of import taxes.

Also read: WTO’s Existence Is Under Threat, Says Commerce Minister Prabhu

At an average of almost seven trade-facilitating measures per month, this is marginally higher than the six measures recorded in the previous reporting period (from mid-Oct 2017 to mid-May 2018).