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The number of new trade restrictions among the world’s top economies has doubled in just six months, according to a report from the World Trade Organization (WTO), a trend the organization’s leader said was hurting global economic growth.
“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,” said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo.
The WTO report says that between mid-October 2017 and mid-May 2018, countries in the Group of 20 large economies imposed 39 new trade restrictions, twice as much as during the previous period.
“The marked increase in new trade restrictive measures among G20 economies should be of real concern to the international community,” Azevêdo said.
“I urge G20 leaders to show restraint in applying new measures and to urgently de-escalate the situation,” he added.
On a brighter note, the report also found that the G-20 countries were also putting in place policies to ease trade, 47 in total. That figure was “marginally” higher than the one in the previous period.
The report comes as President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE mulls the U.S. role in the WTO, which has been the backbone of international trade law for decades.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHouse panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents China sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong DOJ won't prosecute Wilbur Ross after watchdog found he gave false testimony MORE said on Monday that it was a “little premature” to talk about withdrawing from the organization.
Meanwhile, new U.S. tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods are due to come into effect on Friday. China said it would immediately enact countertariffs on U.S. goods if the plans are not scrapped.