Global trade flows rebound – WTO report

WTO director general, Roberto Azevêdo.

International trade flows rebounded strongly in the 12 months between mid-October 2016 and mid-October 2017, with 108 new trade-restrictive measures and 128 new trade-facilitating measures put in place during this period.

This according to the new trade policy review report released by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Monday.

WTO director general, Roberto Azevêdo, noted that the report was aimed at offering a non-biased, objective and fact-based view of developments across the trade landscape of WTO member states.

He pointed out that trade-restrictive measures (an average of 9 new measures per month) had decreased significantly compared to the monthly average of 15 recorded in the previous 12-month period.

Additionally, while trade-facilitating measures were significantly lower than recorded in the previous report, they actually covered twice the value of restrictive measures implemented.

“We know that neither the numerical counting of measures nor their estimated trade coverage are bulletproof indicators of their real trade impact,” said Azevêdo. “However, both are useful to help illustrate the overall trend.”

He pointed out that while the picture was encouraging, for the trade landscape it could be much better and said that further progress would require continued commitment to facilitating trade by not implementing new trade-restrictive measures and reversing existing ones.

Information for the report was collected from direct inputs submitted by members, observers and other official and public sources.

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