Sunday 23 September 2018

Global economic recovery at risk from trade barriers - WTO

WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo. Photo: Getty Images
WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo. Photo: Getty Images

Tom Miles

Trade barriers being erected by major economies could jeopardise the global economic recovery and their effects are already starting to show, the World Trade Organisation said yesterday in a report on trade restrictions among G20 nations.

"This continued escalation poses a serious threat to growth and recovery in all countries, and we are beginning to see this reflected in some forward-looking indicators," WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said in a statement.

He did not elaborate, but in May the WTO's quarterly trade outlook indicator suggested trade would grow slower in the second quarter than in the first.

The International Transport Association said that air cargo demand was expected to grow by "a modest 4pc" in 2018, less than previously forecast.

"Headwinds are strengthening with growing friction among governments on trade. We still expect demand to grow, but those expectations are dampened with each new tariff introduced," IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac said.

WTO analysis found that G20 countries introduced 39 new trade restrictions between mid-October last year and mid-May this year, double the rate seen in the previous period. (Reuters)

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