Highlights from last report

discussed by the WTO Members on 25 July 2018

  • WTO Members applied 75 new trade-restrictive measures during the review period from mid-October 2017 to mid-May 2018. This equates to an average of almost 11 new measures per month, which is higher compared to the average of 9 measures recorded in the previous Report.

  • WTO Members implemented 89 measures aimed at facilitating trade over the review period. At almost 13 trade-facilitating measures per month, this is an increase compared to the average of 11 measures recorded in the previous Report.

  • While WTO Members continue to implement trade-facilitating measures, the more worrying trend during this period is the increase in trade-restrictive measures which is happening at a time when increasing trade tensions and associated rhetoric are dominating the daily headlines.

  • The trade coverage of the import-facilitating measures (US$107 billion) is larger than that of the import-restrictive measures (US$85 billion). Although this is an encouraging development for global trade, it is of concern that the ratio of the trade coverage of import-facilitating over import-restrictive measures has fallen significantly for the current review period. In the previous Report this ratio was two-to-one in favour of trade-liberalizing measures.

  • The review period saw a stable pace in initiations of trade remedy investigations by WTO Members and an increase in terminations of trade remedy actions, compared to the previous period.

  • While the global economy is 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. Further escalation could carry potentially large risks for the multilateral trading system itself. WTO Members must use all means at their disposal to de-escalate the situation and promote further trade recovery.

Key findings from last report

Executive summary from last report and from previous report

The database provides information on trade measures implemented by WTO members and observers since October 2008. The data is taken from the regular Trade Monitoring Reports prepared by the WTO Secretariat. All information is submitted to the relevant delegation for confirmation; information that it is not confirmed is clearly indicated in the database. The database is updated every time a new report has been discussed by WTO members.

Last update: 25 July 2018
Next update expected by early-December 2018

Trade monitoring