WTO report finds no acceleration in trade restrictions but slow pace for barrier removal
WTO members have continued to show some restraint in introducing new trade-restrictive measures and have also adopted a record number of trade facilitation measures during the period of October 2014 to October 2015 according to the Director-General’s annual report on trade-related developments. However, the report, which was discussed at the 9 December meeting of the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB), raises concerns over the increase in the stockpile of trade-restrictive measures recorded since 2008.
- In the reporting period between mid-October 2014 and mid-October 2015, WTO Members applied 178 new trade-restrictive measures. This equates to a monthly average of just under 15 new measures per month which is stable and comparable to the previous reporting period.
- The overall stockpile of restrictive measures introduced by WTO Members nevertheless continues to grow. Of the 2,557 trade-restrictive measures, including trade remedies, introduced by WTO Members since 2008 and recorded by this exercise, only 642 had been removed by mid-October 2015.
- Looking towards the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December, WTO Members should reflect on the central role of the multilateral trading system as a predictable and transparent framework helping Members resist protectionist pressures and as a stable and inclusive platform for pursuing further multilateral trade liberalization.