Recent slowdown in global trade: Cyclical or structural

Emine Boz, Matthieu Bussière, Clément Marsilli 12 November 2014

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Introduction

Global trade started to slow down markedly in the course of 2011, after it bounced back from the Great Trade Collapse of 2008–2009.1 In 2012 and 2013 the growth rate of global trade volume reached only 3%, against nearly 7% in the pre-crisis period (2002–2007) and 6.8% in the period 1985–2007 (Figure 1).

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Topics:  Global crisis International trade

Tags:  great trade collapse, trade slowdown, global crisis, trade, global value chains, protectionism

Trade policy through 2013: Signs of improvement but new policy concerns

Chad P Bown 27 June 2014

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How countries apply their trade policies has been of heightened interest since the early days of the Great Recession (Baldwin and Evenett 2009). While applied import tariffs have proven resilient to change, the temporary trade barriers of antidumping, safeguards, and countervailing duties have become important to understanding the year-to-year churning that arises under modern commercial policy. Here we summarise evidence from the World Bank’s Temporary Trade Barriers Database – that has been newly updated with data through 2013 – for more than 25 major economies.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  G20, protectionism, Trade barriers, Great Recession, TTBs

Economic liberty in the long run: Evidence from OECD countries

Leandro Prados de la Escosura 07 April 2014

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How has freedom evolved over time? A distinction has been made between ‘negative’ freedom – a lack of interference or coercion by others (freedom from) – and ‘positive’ freedom, the guarantee of access to markets that allow people to control their own existence (freedom to) (Berlin 1958). An example of negative freedom is economic liberty. A country is economically free to the extent that privately owned property is protected, contracts enforced, prices stable, barriers to trade small, and resources mainly allocated through the market (Friedman 1962).

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Topics:  Development

Tags:  OECD, protectionism, negative freedom, economic freedom, economic liberty

The dragon awakes: Is Chinese competition policy a cause for concern?

Mario Mariniello 09 November 2013

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Foreign businesses are increasingly realising that China has antitrust laws, and is not shy about using them. The Glencore/Xstrata merger in the spring was cleared only with conditions imposed by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. In August, the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission imposed a record €82 million fine on milk powder producers for a price-fixing conspiracy. The Chinese authorities are also taking more decisions.

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Topics:  Competition policy

Tags:  China, international trade, protectionism, Competition policy, antitrust

The BRICs party is over

Anders Åslund 04 September 2013

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After a decade of infatuation, investors have suddenly turned their backs on emerging markets. In the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – growth rates have quickly fallen and current-account balances have deteriorated.1 The surprise is not that the romance is over but that it could have lasted for so long.

From 2000 to 2008 the world went through one of the greatest commodity and credit booms of all times. Goldman Sachs preached that the BRICs were unstoppable (e.g. Wilson and Purushothaman 2003).

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Topics:  Development International trade

Tags:  Russia, China, India, commodities, protectionism, BRICs, Brazil, BRIC

Five More Years of the G20 Standstill on Protectionism?

Simon J Evenett 03 September 2013

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“We are deeply concerned about rising instances of protectionism around the world”. So declared G20 Leaders at the end of their last summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Well, did performance improve?

Moreover, we are approaching the 5th anniversary of the G20’s standstill on protectionism, how effective has it been? Should alternatives be considered?

Reading the 14th report of the Global Trade Alert, it seems clear that the current G20 approach is not working:

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  protectionism, Global Trade Alert

Protectionism’s quiet return: The GTA’s pre-G8 summit report

Simon J Evenett 13 June 2013

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As the recent public recriminations over the Sino-EU trade dispute on solar panels have shown, favouring domestic firms at the expense of foreign rivals can be a transparent, noisy, and diplomatically painful matter. Such protectionism may have much in common with the 1930s but it is not representative of contemporary policy choice, as the 12th Report of the Global Trade Alert shows.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  protectionism

Fighting financial protectionism

Dirk Schoenmaker 18 April 2013

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 International cooperation between national supervisors broke down during the Global Financial Crisis. The collapse of Lehman and Fortis provide vivid illustrations that national supervisors ultimately choose for their national interest in crisis management. Reform of global governance, guided by the G20 and executed by the Financial Stability Board, has so far focused on soft law solutions (Arner and Taylor 2009). Regulators adopt a consensual approach towards the setting of international standards.

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Topics:  Global crisis International finance

Tags:  protectionism, Eurozone crisis

Emerging-economy trade policy has become more responsive to economic shocks under the WTO

Chad P Bown, Meredith Crowley 08 February 2013

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The use of temporary protection has spread like wildfire in recent years. Even if these measures – antidumping and anti-subsidy duties for example – are perfectly consistent with WTO trade rules, there are worries that this signals a shift to protectionism (Baldwin and Evenett 2012 and Aggarwal and Evenett 2012). But there is an alternative view. Temporary protection may facilitate trade liberalisation – just as easy firing can encourage hiring.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  WTO, antidumping, protectionism, temporary trade barriers

‘No gain without pain’: Antidumping protection hurts exports

Hylke Vandenbussche, Jozef Konings 30 January 2013

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Protection is often viewed as a powerful instrument to help domestic firms to raise their sales at the expense of foreign importers. But this view is now being challenged by recent research showing that the effects of protection really depend on the international orientation of the firms i.e. whether they are exporters or not. Protected firms that are well integrated in global value chains may actually lose sales whenever the imports of inputs are subject to protection.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  France, EU, trade, tariffs, protectionism, global value chains

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