USCIB’s affiliate the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is urging G20 leaders to keep markets open to trade, following worrying results from a recently released WTO-OECD-UNCTAD report that G20 countries are increasing protectionist measures.
The joint report by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) and United Nations Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on G20 trade and investment measures, released May 24, 2011, found that more new trade restrictive measures have been implemented in the past six-month period than in any previously reported period. From October 2010 to April 2011 alone, G20 members implemented 30 new export restrictions.
This occurred despite the G20’s reaffirmation at the 2010 Seoul Summit to resist protectionism until the end of 2013. G20 leaders had agreed early that year, at their Toronto Summit, to withdraw any protectionist measures in the pipeline, including export restrictions and WTO–inconsistent measures for stimulating exports. The WTO-OECD-UNCTAD report reveals that the exact opposite is taking place.
The joint report further confirms an ICC-commissioned study, released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics in 2010, stating that all G20 countries have implemented protectionist trade measures since 2008. Concerns in the global business community about this protectionist trend have prompted ICC to put into place its own indicator to monitor market openness. The Open Market Index will provide an annual ranking of the 50 top-trading countries by order of their openness to trade and investment. This private sector indicator to monitor protectionism will be launched ahead of the G20 Summit – being held in Cannes, France on November 3-4, 2011.
Staff contact: Rob Mulligan