Simon J. Evenett | 23 Jun 2010

This Report of the Global Trade Alert, published to coincide with the Toronto G-20 Leaders' Summit in June 2010, presents a comprehensive global overview of protectionist trends since the last G-20 summit in September 2009. It draws upon a substantial expansion in the evidence collected by the GTA team during 2010 on the measures announced and implemented by governments since November 2008. The main findings of this Report are the following:

  • Compliance with the G-20's No-Protectionism pledges is very uneven.
  • Violations of the G20's pledges aren't cost free: the commercial interests of many G-20 countries have been hurt 100 or more times since the Pittsburgh Summit.
  • Nearly 650 of the protectionist state measures implemented since the first crisis-related G-20 summit in November 2008 remain in place; there is much crisis-era protectionism to be unwound.
  • Resort to beggar-thy-neighbour policies in 2009 turned out much worse than was known at the Pittsburgh Summit.

Twenty-two far-reaching protectionist measures that harm 15 or more G20 trading partners and affect more than US$10 billion in trade were analysed in detail.Conservatively estimated, the trade covered by these so-called "jumbo" measures alone is approximately US$1.6 trillion, equivalent to more than 10 percent of world imports in 2008.

On the basis of this record and the influence of recent fiscal retrenchment on macroeconomic policymaking, the trade policy challenges for governments in the next 12 months are discussed. This Report will be of interest to trade policymakers, diplomats, senior officials, analysts, and others concerned with the contribution of the G-20 to global economic governance.

 

Release date: 23 June 2010