Trade barriers being erected by major
economies could jeopardise the global economic recovery and their effects are
already starting to show, the World Trade Organization said in a report on
trade restrictions among G20 nations.
continued escalation poses a serious threat to growth and recovery in all
countries, and we are beginning to see this reflected in some forward-looking
indicators,” WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement.
He did not
elaborate, but in May the WTO’s quarterly trade outlook indicator suggested
trade would grow slower in the second quarter than in the first.
of its composite forward-looking indicator is international air freight data
from the International Transport Association, which issued its figures for May
IATA said air
cargo demand was expected to grow by “a modest 4.0 percent” in 2018, less than
the 4.5 percent foreseen in December.
analysis found that G20 Countries introduced 39 new trade restrictions between
mid-October last year and mid-May this year, double the rate seen in the
previous period, affecting trade in iron and steel, plastics and vehicles.
increase in new trade restrictive measures among G20 economies should be of
real concern to the international community,” Azevedo said, adding that more
restrictions had been put in place in the weeks after the period under review
juncture where the global economy is finally beginning to generate sustained
economic momentum following the global financial crisis, the uncertainty
created by a proliferation of trade restrictive actions could place economic
recovery in jeopardy,” the WTO report said.
It added that
the world trading system was built to resolve such problems but the escalating
tensions were a threat to the system itself, and G20 economies needed to use
all means at their disposal to de-escalate the situation and promote further