G20 governments have introduced more trade barriers, including export restrictions, in the past six months than in previous periods since the financial crisis began, according to the monitoring report by the WTO, OECD and UNCTAD released on 24 May 2011.
Although measures to lower trade barriers are also accelerating, new import restrictive measures taken by G20 economies over the period October 2010 to April 2011 cover around 0.6% of total G20 imports which is also an increase over the previous six months (0.3%). Export restrictions are also on the rise. This adds to the cumulative total of world trade affected by new restrictions since the crisis began.
Despite the positive forecasts for 2011, the outlook for world trade remains clouded by a number of significant risk factors in addition to the recent natural disasters in Japan. Sovereign debt problems, rising prices for food and other primary commodities, and unrest in major oil exporting countries generate uncertainties for the near future. Full report..