While the Great Recession has not led to a massive global resort to protectionism, governments have nevertheless been active with their trade policy during the crisis. This column explores how governments adjusted the scale and composition of their temporary trade barriers – antidumping, safeguard, and countervailing-duty policies –during the crisis, as well as how policy use fits recent historical context and creates the need for post-crisis policy reform.
Chad Bown, 29 August 2011
Simon Evenett, 22 July 2011
Simon Evenett of the University of St Gallen talks to Viv Davies about the 9th Global Trade Alert report, which suggests that G20 governments’ resolve to resist protectionism has faltered since the Seoul summit. Evenett describes murky protectionism, the impact of the crisis on the BRICs and the least developed countries, and how WTO rules are being circumvented. The interview was recorded in London on 18 July 2011. [Also read the transcript.]
Simon Evenett, 20 July 2011
Despite the public commitments made at the Seoul G20 summit, this year protectionism has slipped off the work programme of G20 nations. The latest evidence published in the 9th Report of the Global Trade Alert, summarised here, shows that government resolve against protectionism has weakened as global economic prospects have dimmed. The global trading system is not out of the protectionist woods.
Simon Evenett, 20 July 2011
The 9th GTA report shows that the pick-up in protectionism since the Seoul G20 summit coincides with the deterioration in economic sentiment.
Cecília Hornok, 09 July 2011
Trade barriers that delay transactions are like sand in the wheels of a global economy in which firms trade frequently and international production is fragmented. This column presents evidence showing how the elimination of border controls and customs procedures within the EU has contributed to faster trade, lower trade costs, and larger cross-country trade.
Holger Görg, Christiane Krieger-Boden, 09 June 2011
The global financial crisis has raised the threat of protectionism. This column argues that the worst offenders will suffer a drop in foreign direct investment inflows.
Uri Dadush, Shimelse Ali, Rachel Odell, 07 June 2011
The limited resort to protectionism during the financial crisis is often attributed to the WTO or to sensible macroeconomic policy. This column argues that there is more to the story. The combination of national laws, regional agreements, and powerful interest groups has worked to stop protectionism in its tracks.
Andrew Rose, Tomasz Wieladek, 29 May 2011
During the global crisis governments made substantial interventions in financial markets, particularly in the banking sector. This column argues that one unintended consequence of bank nationalisations has been to reduce cross-border lending. After nationalisation, foreign banks reduced British lending as a share of total lending by about 11 percentage points and increased interest rates to UK residents by 70 basis points. This suggests foreign nationalised banks have engaged in financial protectionism.
Lucian Cernat, Marlene Madsen, 23 March 2011
Compared to recent headline-grabbing events, dealing with “behind-the-border barriers” and keeping protectionist tendencies at bay might seem to be small potatoes. This column argues that the “murky protectionism” that affects €100 billion of trade will have profound implications for Europe and the rest of the world, and as such is worthy of attention.
Ivan Cherkashin , Svetlana Demidova , Hiau Looi Kee, Kala Krishna, 19 February 2011
Trade preferences, such as those removing restrictions on Madagascar’s exports to the US, have long been a controversial policy. Some argue that it removes incentives for firms to become more competitive as they simply divert their trade to the preferred market. This column argues using counterfactual simulations that trade preferences can increase trade for the provider country, the receiver country, and other trading partners as well.
Shimelse Ali, Uri Dadush, 09 February 2011
Intermediate inputs – the parts and materials imported to make products for consumption domestically and abroad – are a growing force in world trade. This column argues that without better measurement of intermediate imports we run the risk of overestimating the growth effects of exports and severely underestimating the cost of protection and the crucial role that inputs play in enhancing efficiency.
Markus Poschke, 29 January 2011
Despite recent progress, the cost of complying with entry regulation is still higher in continental Europe compared to Anglo-Saxon or Northern European countries. This column illustrates this point using data from the World Bank and presents some recent research on the negative effect of these entry costs on output and productivity.
Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 20 January 2011
The global crisis has reignited debate on the desirability of capital controls. This column examines evidence from Argentina and Chile and argues that capital controls can be effective, but that their effectiveness and efficiency varies. It adds that controls need to be considered as part of a macro-prudential toolkit to prevent asset inflation and overvaluation that is costly to revert in the down cycle.
Demián Dalle, Federico Lavopa, 11 January 2011
Since the breakout of the global crisis and the combined pledge to refrain from protectionism, the Global Trade Alert – among others – has documented numerous examples of countries breaking their promises. This column revises a paper from the 7th Global Trade Alert, providing analysis of Argentina’s unique policy responses and their surprising consequences.
Brad McDonald, Christian Henn, 22 December 2010
The independent Global Trade Alert has identified hundreds of protectionist measures since its launch in 2008. This column argues that the protectionist measures are associated with substantial changes in bilateral trade flows. It adds that border measures and behind-the-border measures, including bailouts and subsidies, contribute equally to an annual aggregate trade distortion of at least $35 billion.
Simon Evenett, 12 November 2010
The Seoul summit marks the end of the second year of the G20's crisis-related activities. This column takes stock of the G20's accomplishments and methods of operation, identifying what can reasonably be expected of the G20 over the medium term. It argues that a series of evolving accommodations – articulated imprecisely to outsiders – is the most that governments and analysts should expect.
Chunding Li, John Whalley, 11 November 2010
Over the last decade, China has been the target of more antidumping measures than any country in the world. This column examines the impacts and argues that China should be paying more attention to measures that come from its main trading partners.
Simon Evenett, 08 November 2010
The Korean hosts of this week's G20 summit are apparently keen to raise the profile of protectionism and to develop a development-friendly trade initiative. With these possible goals in mind the Eighth Report of the Global Trade Alert, published today, assesses the global state of protectionism, the quality of G20 leadership on trade, and the harm done to the most vulnerable developing countries by other country's beggar-thy-neighbour policies.
Simon Evenett, 08 November 2010
Although the dispute over China's exchange rate regime intensified in the run up to the Seoul G20 Summit, pressures for across-the-board protectionist measures have been contained, for now. The 8th Global Trade Report shows that the countries with large current account surpluses have not been targeted unduly in recent months.
Michael Moore, Thomas Prusa, 08 November 2010
Last month the US Department of Commerce announced a series of proposals to strengthen the enforcement of US trade laws. This column argues that these proposals will directly undercut President Obama’s trade commitments announced in his 2010 State of the Union Address – reducing access to critical inputs for US firms and increasing the chances that they face the same treatment abroad. It begs US policymakers to reconsider.