Washington, D.C., April 15, 2015 – On the eve of the 2015 World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has called on G20 governments to do more to address the growing impact of protectionism on the global economy, according to ICC’s American chapter, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).
The fourth installment of the ICC G20 Business Scorecard – which assesses the response of the G20 to recommendations put forward by the international business community – highlights that G20 governments have done a “poor” job in implementing their commitment to roll back trade restrictive measures introduced since the financial crisis.
Commenting on the launch of the Scorecard, ICC Chairman and co-chair of the B20 Trade Task Force Terry McGraw said: “There is a paradox right now at the heart of trade policymaking. On the one hand, we’ve got possibly the most robust negotiating agenda in two decades—with a range of deals on the table that, with the right political leadership, could provide a major stimulus to the global economy.
“But at the same time, we are seeing governments subtly employing regulatory measures – or non-tariff barriers – to restrict international trade. While the G20 deserves great credit for holding the worst protectionist excesses in check, action is needed now to curb the steady drip feed of measures which we have seen since the financial crisis.”
Research suggests that, despite G20 commitments, the global stock of protectionist measures has continued to increase over the past year. One recent study indicated that since 2008, over 70% of the changes to trade rules around the world have curbed trade, rather than spurring it.
ICC Secretary General John Danilovich added: “Protectionism is not just bad for business: it also has a significantly negative effect on job creation and consumer welfare. The G20 now needs to lead by example, as it has done in many other areas, and take action on its longstanding commitment to roll-back protectionist policies.”
“The IMF has just lowered its growth forecast for this year to 3.5 percent. What’s more, 200 million people remain unemployed across the globe. Trade policy needs to be viewed as the next economic stimulus. Implementing the B20’s four trade recommendations from 2014 could add some $3.4 trillion to global GDP.”
The release of the Scorecard also comes ahead of the anticipated introduction of so-called “fast-track” legislation in the United States – which would give President Barack Obama authority to negotiate free-trade deals with other countries under special rules.
USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson said: “It is critically important for individual G20 member countries to keep moving forward on trade. We are delighted that the U.S. and many of its G20 partners are involved in ambitious, market-opening negotiations such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.”
“We also applaud the imminent introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation in the U.S. Congress, which will be a very welcome sign of new wind in the sails of global trade liberalization.”
The full G20 Business Scorecard is available at: http://www.iccwbo.org/Global-influence/G20/Reports-and-Products/ICC-G20-Scorecard/
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 917.420.0039, firstname.lastname@example.org