ABOUT GLOBAL TRADE ALERT

The Global Trade Alert (GTA) was launched in June 2009 when it was feared that the global financial crisis would lead governments to adopt widespread 1930s-style beggar-thy-neighbour policies.

Although global in scope, the GTA has given particular attention to the policy choices of the G-20 governments ever since their leaders made a “no protectionism” pledge in Washington DC in November 2008.

Although initially conceived as a trade policy monitoring initiative, as thousands of policy announcements have been documented, the GTA has become a widely-used input for analysis and decision-making by firms, industry associations, journalists, researchers, international organisations, and governments.

This reflects the fact that, as the International Monetary Fund noted in 2016, the GTA “has the most comprehensive coverage of all types of trade-discriminatory and trade liberalizing measures.”

For further information about the data collection methods of the Global Trade Alert see section 3 of this paper and pages 17-19 of this report. In recent years each GTA report has contained a chapter “What’s new in the Global Trade Alert database?” where updates on data collection methods, presentation of results, and sources are provided.

 
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REPORTS

THE 22ND GLOBAL TRADE ALERT REPORT

Going Spare: Steel, Excess Capacity, and Protectionism

Simon J. Evenett & Johannes Fritz

During the past year some of America’s trading partners have sought to rein in Washington’s unilateral protectionist instincts by framing the woes of the trading system in terms of global excess capacity—essentially diplomatic code for Chinese excess capacity in manufactures. The joint EU, Japanese, and US statement pledging cooperation on such matters at last December’s WTO Ministerial Conference was an important milestone in this co-option strategy. In light of the threatened imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium products on widely-derided national security grounds, this report examines whether America’s trading partners should double down on this particular strategy. To do so, we evaluate whether excess capacity in manufactured goods is a systemic threat to the world trading system. Read more

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