A report issued by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 4 shows that trade restrictions among G20 countries—of which the U.S. is a member—doubled during the review period of October 2017 to May 2018 compared to the same time the year before. Trade restrictions include tariff increases, stricter customs procedures, and the imposition of taxes and export duties. “The marked increase in new trade restrictive measures among G20 economies should be of real concern to the international community,” commented WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. “Additional trade-restrictive measures have been announced in the weeks since this reporting period and therefore the deterioration in trade relations may be even worse than that recorded here. 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.” — WLJ
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