G20 nations imposed 28 new trade-restrictive measures in 6 months: WTO

The G20 countries have imposed as many as 28 new trade-restrictive measures such as tariff increases, import bans and stricter customs procedures for imports between mid-May and mid-October 2019, according to a WTO report.

G20 members include India, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the US, among others.

"In terms of numbers, G20 economies implemented 28 new trade-restrictive measures between mid-May and mid-October 2019, mainly tariff increases, import bans and stricter customs procedures for imports," according to the WTO's trade monitoring report.

It said these trade restrictions among G20 economies remain at historic high levels.

The restrictive measures cover an estimated USD 460.4 billion worth of traded merchandise, an increase of 37 per cent over the same period previous year.

With restrictions accumulating over time, the share of global trade covered by such measures has soared, the report said.

Commenting on the report, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo called on G20 economies to de-escalate trade tensions to spur investment, growth and job creation.

"Historically high levels of trade-restrictive measures are having a clear impact on growth, job creation and purchasing power around the world. We need to see strong leadership from G20 economies if we want to avoid increased uncertainty, lower investment and even weaker trade growth," he said.

Further, the report said a total of 36 new measures aimed at facilitating trade, including eliminating or reducing import tariffs, and export duties.

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