Simon J. Evenett | 07 Dec 2009

At a time when more commentators are becoming cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2010, this Report from Global Trade Alert presents the latest data on the protectionist dynamics at work since the first G20 crisis-related Summit in November 2008 and highlights the many anti-trade measures that are in the pipeline. Drawing upon a rich evidential base of over 600 completed investigations of state measures that could affect foreign commercial interests, the Report's main findings are:

  • Together the world's governments have implemented 297 beggar-thy-neighbour policy measures since last November; that is, more than one for every working day. G20 governments were responsible for imposing 184 of these protectionist measures.
  • Since the GTA's last report was published in September 2009, the number of protectionist measures discovered (105) was more than eight times the number of benign or liberalising measures (12). Protectionist pressure has not relented.
  • Recently reported falls in the number of protectionist measures imposed are more apparent than real. In fact, information received by GTA since September 2009 has forced us to revise up the amount of quarter-by-quarter harm done to the world economy in 2009 by protectionism.

Only 5 jurisdictions have taken measures that affect more than a quarter of all traded products – demonstrating that the across-the-board protectionism seen in the 1930s has not yet been repeated.

In addition to monitoring protectionist developments this Report has a particular focus on developments in the Asia-Pacific region, which contains several export-led powerhouses. Analyses of the impact of the crisis on the trade and commercial priorities of China, India, Japan, and Russia are included in the Report. A novel analysis of the extent to which antidumping practices have changed during the crisis is also presented. Moreover, the long-term impact of protectionism on global supply chains, a central feature of Asian-Pacific trade, received attention too.

Whether interested in "naming and shaming" protectionist governments, in detailed country and sectoral information on beggar-thy-neighbour policies, or in up-to-date analyses of commercial policymaking in leading Asian nations, Global Trade Alert provides a fresh, independent perspective on crisis-era protectionism.


Release date: 7 December 2009