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.

Simon Evenett, 16 September 2010

Our understanding of the recent recovery in world trade would be incomplete without a consideration of the export inducements put in place during the past 12 to 18 months by major trading nations. This column summarises the findings of the seventh report of the Global Trade Alert, including a regional focus on Latin America.

Simon Evenett, 16 September 2010

The Seventh Report of Global Trade Alert, drawing upon over 1200 investigations of state measures, reveals that while 2010 has seen a substantial recovery in world trade, governments have continued to discriminate against foreign commercial interests.

Thomas Prusa, Robert Teh, 15 September 2010

While countries rush to enact more and more free-trade agreements, not enough is known about their impact. This column presents evidence suggesting that free-trade agreements are more discriminatory than their preferential tariffs suggest. It finds a stark increase in contingent protection as free-trade agreements cause a 10%-30% increase in the number of antidumping disputes against non-member countries.

Simon Evenett, 23 June 2010

This Report of the Global Trade Alert, published to coincide with the Toronto G-20 Leaders' Summit in June 2010, presents a comprehensive global overview of protectionist trends since the last G-20 summit in September 2009.

Simon Evenett, 25 June 2010

Simon Evenett of the University of St Gallen talks to Viv Davies about the fifth Global Trade Alert (GTA) report. They discuss why the EU – in contrast to Africa, which has resisted protectionist temptations – is now in the top five ‘offending nations’ on all of the GTA criteria. Evenett also answers recent criticisms that GTA has been ‘over-alarmist’ in its analysis of protectionist measures implemented by governments since the onset of the financial crisis. The interview was recorded in June 2010.

Simon Evenett, 23 June 2010

The current macroeconomic context, characterised by a sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone and a growing emphasis on fiscal restraint, may influence government behaviour towards open borders. This column discusses the implications of fiscal restraint for protectionist dynamics before summarising the main findings of the sixth Global Trade Alert (GTA) report. It argues that “jumbo discriminatory measures” have affected more than 10% of world imports in 2008, casting doubt on any claims that the amount of trade potentially affected by crisis-era protectionism is de minimus.

Hiau Looi Kee, Cristina Neagu, Alessandro Nicita, 01 June 2010

Did increased protectionism cause the great trade collapse? This column argues that, while there has been a rise in the use of tariffs and anti-dumping duties, protectionism accounted for no more than 2% of the drop in world trade in 2009.

Simon Evenett, 27 May 2010

With the return to economic growth of many industrialised economies in either late 2009 or the first half of 2010, combined with sustained expansions in the emerging market economies, came the hope that protectionist pressures would ease in the world economy through 2010.…

Simon Evenett, 28 May 2010

Despite the return of economic growth, the threat of protectionism still lingers. This column presents the fifth report from the Global Trade Alert with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. The report is the busiest yet – the number of identified protectionist measures has risen by 40%. No four-digit product line, no economic sector, and no jurisdiction have emerged unscathed by crisis-era protectionism.

Christoph Böhringer, Andreas Lange, Thomas Rutherford, 06 May 2010

Will unilateral emissions cap-and-trade schemes result in carbon leakage and provide a cover for protectionist policies? This column argues that these risks are overstated. Moreover, large open economies such as the EU or the US cannot substantially reduce pollution costs through competing on emission-prices and a simple rule of uniform pricing is close to optimal.

Kati Suominen, 16 April 2010

Should the US take action over China’s exchange-rate policy? This column argues “yes”. But while China would be momentarily hurt by the imposition of tariffs, US companies, workers, and consumers would suffer in the long run. The US should instead follow Fred Bergsten’s three-stage plan of engaging the IMF and WTO. The column also suggests that a long-run solution should be worked out within the G20.

Philip Levy, 16 April 2010

Many US analysts argue that China’s currency is undervalued and that its policy significantly impedes global macroeconomic rebalancing. This column outlines the possible policy responses available to the US. While multilateral policies are slower, they are less likely than unilateral policies to trigger a negative political response. But first the US needs to establish a principled basis for action.

Kym Anderson, John Cockburn, Will Martin, 28 April 2010

Many economists argue that removing trade barriers such as the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy will be globally welfare-improving. This column presents findings from simulations that estimate the welfare effects depending on the extent of trade reform and possible policy responses. It suggests that removing the world’s price and trade distortions would reduce the number of poor people worldwide by 3%.

Fred Bergsten, 16 April 2010

C Fred Bergsten is one of several commentators calling for action against China’s exchange-rate policy. In this column, he outlines a three-part multilateral action plan to force China to allow the renminbi to appreciate: label China a “currency manipulator”, seek a special IMF consultation, and request a WTO dispute settlement panel.

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