There is a slowdown in the number of trade restrictive as well as facilitative measures on goods implemented by G-20 member countries between mid-May and mid-October, due to the sharp decline in overall global trade since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a WTO report. The WTO's latest Trade Monitoring Report on G20 trade measures also said that although world trade had already been slowing before the pandemic, merchandise exports in nominal US dollar terms fell 21 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year.
The report "shows a slowdown in the number and coverage of trade restrictive and trade-facilitating measures on goods implemented by G20 countries between mid-May and mid-October 2020", it added. It was primarily as a result of the sharp decline in overall global trade since the COVID-19 outbreak, it said. WTO Deputy Director-General Yonov Frederick Agah said that while the number of new trade-restricting measures was modest, the fact remains that restrictions that have accumulated since 2009 are weighing on over a 10th of G20 imports.
"Now, more than ever, G20 governments must continue to work together," Agah said. G20 members include India, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the US.