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WTO members applied 137 new trade restrictive measures in 1 year: Report

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have applied as many as 137 new trade restrictive measures, including tariffs hikes and quantitative restrictions, during the one-year period starting October 2017, a report said Tuesday.

There are 164 members of the Geneva-based global trade rule making body WTO, including India, China, the US and the UK.

"The report shows that 137 new trade-restrictive measures were put in place by members during the review period, including tariffs increases, quantitative restrictions, import taxes and export duties," the WTO report said.

This equates to an average of 11 new measures per month, which is higher compared to the average of nine recorded in the previous annual overview (mid-October 2016 to mid-October 2017), it added.

It said that the trade coverage of the import-restrictive measures (USD 588.3 billion) is more than seven times larger than that recorded in the previous annual overview.

Commenting on the report, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said that this proliferation of trade restrictive measures and the uncertainty created by such actions could place economic recovery in jeopardy.

"Further escalation would carry potentially large risks for global trade, with knock-on effects for economic growth, jobs and consumer prices around the world," he added.

He urged the members to use all means at their disposal to de-escalate the situation.

However, it said that during the same period, WTO members also implemented 162 measures aimed at facilitating trade, including eliminating or reducing tariffs and simplified customs procedures for imports and exports.

"At close to 14 trade-facilitating measures per month, this is an increase compared to the average of 11 measures in the previous annual overview," it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 11 2018. 22:35 IST