G20 nations 'not meeting trade commitments'

14 September 2009

15 September 2009

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has criticised the G20 leaders for not enforcing their commitments on open and fair trade.

In a report out yesterday, the WTO said G20 nations had largely refrained from extensive use of restrictive trade measures, but noted that a number were still introducing damaging tariffs and subsidies.

At the G20 summit in the UK in April, leaders jointly declared not to "repeat the historic mistakes of protectionism of previous eras".

The WTO study analysed trade measures introduced by G20 countries between April and August this year and found some "slippage" on the commitments made in London.

It said buyers and suppliers had noted slower procedures and additional bureaucracy in some G20 markets. Imports of agricultural goods, metals and car parts were among the products most affected by increased tariffs, it added.

The report's authors - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) secretary-general Angel Gurria, WTO director-general Pascal Lamy and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) secretary-general Supachai Panitchpakdi - described the measures as "sand in the gears of international trade that may retard the global recovery".

They also predicted a "significant" increase in anti-dumping measures, to stop companies exporting goods at a cost lower than the price they normally charge in their local market.

China today officially launched an "anti-dumping and anti-subsidies" investigation into imports of US car products and chicken meat.

It followed the county's complaint to the WTO over the US imposing tariffs on Chinese tyre imports last weekend.

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