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.
Thomas Prusa, Robert Teh, 15 September 2010
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.
Hylke Vandenbussche, Maurizio Zanardi, 08 March 2010
The global crisis has raised fears that governments would engage in a protectionist spiral. This column argues that, while countries have by and large kept their promises not to raise barriers to trade, antidumping has crept up. Far from being a “small price to pay”, the new tough users of antidumping laws such as Brazil, India, Mexico, Taiwan, and Turkey have 5.9% fewer annual imports as a result.
Gary Hufbauer, Jeffrey Schott , Woan Wong, 22 February 2010
Fears of protectionism have risen in the wake of the global financial crisis. This column argues that, far from being time to abandon the Doha Round, sustaining political support for the rules-based multilateral trade system is more important than ever. If this column’s recommendations are followed, world GDP could gain up to $282.7 billion a year.
Simon Evenett, 18 February 2010
The latest GTA report examines whether macroeconomic stabilisation has altered governments' resort to protectionism, with a focus on the Gulf Region.
Simon Evenett, 18 February 2010
The threat of tit-for-tat protectionism is not over yet. This column presents the latest report from the Global Trade Alert and suggests the recent recovery has not slowed the protectionism wave. In the last quarter of 2009, almost every major trading nation has implemented discrimination against foreign commercial interests above trend levels.
Chad Bown, 18 February 2010
Protectionism has been a growing concern during the global crisis. This column examines the fourth-quarter data from the Global Antidumping Database. For the first time since the onset of the crisis, the world witnessed a substantial decrease in industry demands for temporary new import barriers through trade remedies. But this period also saw a substantial increase in new trade barriers imposed, as the trade-remedy investigations initiated earlier in the crisis concluded with new protection.
Lucian Cernat, Nuno Sousa, 09 January 2010
What is the impact of crisis-led protectionism on trade? This column provides a new way to interpret protectionism – the “Russian doll” effect – and shows that the effect on EU exports has been more severe than the rest of the world.
Pravin Krishna, Mine Senses, 19 December 2009
Public concerns regarding globalisation remain as economists still do not agree on trade’s effect on the labour market. This column focuses on the effect of increased trade on permanent income shocks experienced by workers in the US. It suggests that increased import penetration is associated with increased risk to worker incomes.
Simon Evenett, 14 December 2009
The third report of Global Trade Alert contains the latest assessment of protectionist dynamics at work in the world economy with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region.