Commission's report on Trade Restrictive Measures warns against rise of protectionism within G20

According to a monitoring report released by the European Commission, G20 members still have to increase efforts in order to avoid protectionists behaviours in their trade relations. In its report, the Commission warns about the harmful effects of the introduction of new trade barriers and restrictive measures.

The Eighth Report on Potentially Trade Restrictive Measures provides the latest state of play regarding trade activities of the EU's trade partners between October 2010 and 1 September 2011. The report shows that economic recovery in many countries has not led to the reversal of protectionist policies, and highlights that only 17% of all measures introduced since the beginning of the crisis so far have lapsed.

The report counts no less than 424 restrictive measures to open trade since the start of the Commission's monitoring in October 2008 and, over the last year, 130 new trade restrictive measures have been introduced by EU’s trading partners, meaning an increase of 30%. Furthermore, some of these measures which were deemed to be temporary are still applicable and the roll-back of potentially trade-restrictive measures remains insufficient and slow.

The tendency towards industrialisation policies among emerging economies such as Argentina, Brazil, Russia, India and China, has combine industrial support and trade-restrictive measures. These policies have raised concerns about open trade and investment, as they are often based on import substitution, local content requirements and restrictions in public procurement. In emerging countries, a lot of trade restrictive measures have been locked in as part of national industrialisation plans.

The report, as already done by the first Trade and Investment Barriers report put forward by the Commission in march 2011, also underlines EU's strong commitment to support efforts to reduce trade barriers and protectionism either at the G20, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international organisations, so that the global trading system does not fall victim to a deteriorating economic situation and European companies can benefit from fair access to global markets.