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GTA Presentation at WTO Public Forum 2014 on protectionism and developing countries

On 1 October 2014 at the WTO Public Forum in Geneva, Simon Evenett gave a presentation on (a) global trends in the resort to beggar-thy-neighbour policies and (b) the frequency with which the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Lower Middle Income Countries (LMICs) have seen their commercial interests harmed by foreign protectionism. This presentation is based upon the latest data from Global Trade Alert and reflects the substantial expansion of that database over the past 12 months. For further details please email

FT blog on why global trade is slowing down, mentions GTA findings

In a guest blog, published on the Financial Times website on 29 August 2013, Eric Lascelles, Chief Economist of RBC Global Asset Management, discussed the factors responsible for slowing growth of world trade since the global economic crisis hit. One of the factors mentioned by Mr Lascelles is protectionism and specific reference was made to the number of protectionist measures imposed by G20 countries, data that was taken from the GTA database.

Mr Lascelles' contribution to the Beyond Brics blog can be found at the following URL:

Beggar-Thy-Poor-Neighbour: Crisis-Era Protectionism and Developing Countries

The most vulnerable trading Nations on Earth - the Least Developed Countries and Countries from Sub-Saharan Africa- have long been encouraged by Western donors, international development Organisations and economists to integrate their economies into world markets.This volume examines the extent to which such integration was frustrated by protectionism measures taking since the onset on Greta Recession.
Drawing upon the data compiled by Global Trade Alert, an independent protectionist monitoring service, the policy stance towards Lesse Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan African Nations- both beggar-thy-neighbour and liberalising - are characterised and their effects analysed by expert knowledgeable about both of these groups of developing countries. Implications for policymaking at the national and international level, including at the G20, are explored.

Download the report here


1. Beggar-Thy-Poor-Neighbour: The incidence of Protectionism in LDCs and Sub-Saharan Africa

Part one: The Impact of Protectionism on Developing Countries

2. Free trade, protectionism and the balance of trade: New empirical insights
3. Trade measures of OECD countries and the decline in exports of African Coutires: is murky protectionism responsible?
4. Protectionist Trade Policy Instruments in the global economic crises: an impact analysis from Africa-EU and Africa-US trade relations
5. SADC Crisis era trade policy and its effect on intra regional trade and investiments
6. The economic crisis and the protection of domestic workers: the case of Foreign Workers Firsts out policy in Malaysia's manufacturing sector.

Part two: Country Specific Data on the Incidence of Crisis- Era Protectionism on the Least Developed Countries and on Africa 

Simon Evenett

Date Published: 22 Jul 2014

Publisher: Centre for Economic Policy Research

Format: PDF

Download E-Book:    GTA15_LDCs2.pdf (1,669 KB)

B20 report cites GTA numbers on protectionism

In a report to G20 leaders the B20's (a business group) Trade Taskforce employed GTA data to argue that "the spirit of the (G20) standstill (on protectionism) has not been honoured with respect to non-tariff barriers." Page 8 of the following report contains an informative chart concerning the level and composition of crisis-era protectionism, see

The B20 report states that the G20 members have implemented in total 1500 protectionist measures. As of today (20 July 2014), the GTA has found that the G20 members have implemented 2198 measures that discriminate against foreign commercial interests, of which 1856 are still in effect. For details consult the advanced search page of this site or email Simon Evenett at

20 July 2014

Wall Street Journal: "France Feeds New European Nationalism"

On 27 June 2014 the Wall Street Journal published an article describing growing protectionism in the European Union. While no statistics were provided, a number of experts commented on recent developments (involving blocked or modified foreign takeovers) and fears that the next European Commission will weaken key rules.

Readers may be interested in knowing that since 1 January 2014 the members of the European Union have implemented 14 measures that harmed foreign commercial interests and 13 measures that liberalised commerce or made EU commercial policies more transparent. Please note that, if prior experience is anything to go by, reporting lags will result in sharp upward revisions in these numbers. Readers can track the number of measures implemented by the European Union (including those imposed by the European Commission) by using the "advanced search" function on this webste.

The article can be found at:

Financial Times: "WTO warns of creeping protectionism"

On 18 June 2014 the Financial Times reported on the latest WTO report on protectionism by the G20 countries. That report can be found at

New synthesis of crisis-era protectionist dynamics

In the latest edition of Trade Finance, Johannes Fritz and Martin Wermelinger employed GTA data to interpret the protectionist dynamics of recent years. Their analysis can be found at the following URL:

World Bank publishes a report on use of temporary trade barriers.

On 26 June 2014 the World Bank published a report on the resort to temporary trade barriers (normally taken to be antidumping, countervailing and safeguards measures) during 2013. The report focuses on the resort to these measures by 25 jurisdictions and does not purport to have global coverage.

Readers may be interested in knowing that by the end of June 2014 the GTA team had found that during 2013 a total of 147 trade defence investigations resulted in duties being imposed and that another 80 investigations commenced without duties being imposed by the end of that year. These figures are global totals. It may also be of interest that by the end of June 2014 a total of 647 measures were taken by governments during 2013 that discriminated against foreign commercial interests, implying that implemented trade defence measures represented 22% of the total number of beggar thy neighbour measures implemented during 2013.

This World Bank report can be downloaded at

June 2014 WTO trade monitoring report finds fewer G20 trade restrictions

On 18 June 2014 the World Trade Organization published its latest semi-annual report on trade policy developments ostensibly by the G20 nations. This report includes "headline" numbers on the "trade restrictive" measures implemented by the G20 countries. The next GTA report will contain a comparison of the number of measures reported by the WTO in its seven latest reports and those found by the GTA team.

The June 2014 WTO report can be found at:

What Restraint? Five Years of G20 Pledges on Trade

For the past five years, leaders of the G20 countries have said they would not implement new trade restrictions, WTO-inconsistent export subsidies, or export taxes and quotas. They also promised to "roll back" any crisis-era protectionism that was imposed. Drawing upon nearly 3,800 separate reports of trade-related government measures collected and published by the Global Trade Alert team, this Report contains the most up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of adherence to the G20's "standstill" on protectionism. At a time when the World Trade Organization is in the doldrums, the performance of this non-binding alternative to intergovernmental cooperation on commercial policies takes on greater significance.

This report may be of interest to government officials, scholars, analysts, media experts, and students interested in how the governments of the world's largest economies have mixed trade liberalisation and beggar-thy-neighbour policies as the Great Recession has unfolded. The report contains six new measures of the resort to protectionism and the propensity to unwind it, computed and reported for each G20 member. Such measures, which can be tracked over time, will add to the transparency of the world trading system.

Download the report here.


1. Executive Summary

Part One: Benchmarking the G20’s Resort to Protectionism and Trade Liberalisation 

Charts for each G20 Member 

Maps for each G20 Member 

Part Two: Five Years of Crisis-Era Protectionsim

2. The Global Landscape of Protectionism Five Years On 

3. The Efficacy of the G20’s Commitments on Protectionism – in the G20’s own words

4. The Evolution of G20 Commercial Policies During Five Years of Standstill Pledges

5 Reporting Lags and Assessing the Resort to Protectionism 

Part Three: The G20’s Resort to Protectionism – Country Tables

Simon Evenett

Date Published: 3 Sep 2013

Publisher: Centre for Economic Policy Research

Format: PDF

Download E-Book:    GTA14.pdf (6,334 KB)