The WTO Trade Monitoring Exercise is a factual, non-legal exercise that provides transparency regarding new trade and trade policy related measures. Two Trade Monitoring Reports are circulated every year, in July and December, allowing WTO Members to undertake an interactive peer review at the WTO Headquarters. The Reports are developed in close cooperation with WTO Members and cover trade measures implemented in the areas of goods, services and intellectual property. They also provide up-to date accounts on other issues, including trade remedies, SPS, TBT and agriculture.
Measures on Goods
WTO Members have implemented various trade and trade-related measures on goods recorded by the trade monitoring exercise since October 2008. Measures on goods cover measures that facilitate or restrict trade on goods and also initiations of trade remedy investigations and terminations of trade remedy actions. Almost all such measures appear to have been taken within the flexibilities provided for in the multilateral trading system.
Measures in Services
WTO Members have introduced several trade in services measures that have been captured by the trade monitoring exercise since October 2015, some horizontal in nature and some affecting specific services sectors. While most of these measures have provided for additional liberalization or otherwise facilitated services trade, a number of them appeared to be trade restrictive.
Intellectual Property Measures
WTO Members implemented a variety of measures to modernize their intellectual property (IP) regimes and streamline IP and trade in knowledge into their economies. Intellectual property measures have been captured by the trade monitoring exercise since October 2015.
COVID-19 and world trade
The COVID-19 and world trade webpage provides information on COVID-19 measures implemented by WTO Members and Observers related to trade in goods, services and intellectual property. It also includes support measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and communicated by WTO Members and Observers to the Secretariat. This information has been compiled by the WTO Secretariat and is an informal situation report and an attempt to provide transparency with respect to measures taken in the context of the pandemic. These lists of measures are not exhaustive and are updated regularly by the WTO Secretariat.
Highlights from last report
discussed by the WTO Members on 06/12/2022
Report shows increase in trade restrictions amidst economic uncertainty, multiple crises
The WTO Director-General’s annual overview of developments in the international trading environment shows that trade restrictions have increased in a context of economic uncertainty exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the food security crisis. According to the latest WTO Trade Monitoring Report presented on 6 December at a meeting of the Trade Policy Review Body, WTO Members are introducing restrictions at an increased pace, particularly on food, feed and fertilizers. The stockpile of import restrictions in force also continues to grow.
Multiple Crises and Continued Restraint in the Use of Trade Restrictions
The latest Director-General’s mid-year report on trade-related developments arrives at a time when the world faces severe challenges and economic uncertainty, aggravated by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The Report shows that WTO Members continued to exercise restraint in the use of trade restrictions during the review period (mid-October 2021 to mid-May 2022). Building on the success of MC12, WTO Director-General called on Members to show that the international community can work together to de-escalate tensions and ensure a solid economic recovery.
Last reporting period: 16/10/2021 - 15/10/2022
Next reporting period: 16/10/2022 - 15/05/2023