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.
After a decade of growth coordinated and housed in the University of St.Gallen, the GTA transferred into a newly established charitable foundation. Thanks to the generous support of the University of St.Gallen, the Max Schmidheiny Foundation and Prof. Simon Evenett, the St.Gallen Endowment for Prosperity through Trade (SGEPT) launched in late 2020. The foundation is the new institutional home of the GTA since 1 January 2021.
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.