ICC: Keep markets open
The International Chamber of Commerce is urging G20 leaders to keep markets open to trade, saying a joint report on G20 trade and investment measures by the World Trade Organization, Organization on Economic Cooperation and Development and United Nations Committee on Trade and Development is “worrying” because it found an increase in restrictive trade measures in the past six months.
That report, released May 24 by the WTO, OECD and UNCTAD, found G20 members implemented 30 new export restrictions from October 2010 to April 2011.
“This occurred despite the G20's reaffirmation at the 2010 Seoul Summit to resist protectionism until the end of 2013,' the ICC said. '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 ICC said the joint report confirms a study it commissioned from the Peterson Institute for International Economics in 2010, that found all G20 countries have implemented protectionist trade measures since 2008. According to Global Trade Alert, G20 countries applied discriminatory measures worth $1.6 trillion, or 10 percent of all world trade, in 2008 alone.
'Given that the results of the WTO-OECD-UNCTAD report are based on self-reporting from G20 countries, and that they most likely reported only what was necessary, we can assume that trade protectionism is actually worse,' said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier. 'This worrying trend undermines policies for economic recovery and job creation, at a time when the world economy remains at risk.'