Drawing upon the latest data on protectionism from the Global Trade Alert database, this chapter reports the extent to which governments have altered the discrimination against foreign commercial interests during the sharp global downturn and nascent recovery of the past twelve months. Tariff increases have been relatively rare – contemporary discriminatory policies come in murkier forms, such as financial bailouts.
Simon Evenett, 27 November 2009
Jeffry Frieden, 27 November 2009
Re-balancing global trade will be difficult, generating substantial protectionist pressures. To manage these pressures, governments must maintain domestic political support for an open world economy. This in turn requires flexible responses to national political pressures. Rigid, unrealistic insistence on exemplary behaviour will be less fruitful than efforts at modest, feasible cooperation on trade policies. Above all, governments singly and jointly need to address the underlying macroeconomic causes of the imbalances to prevent serious trade confrontations.
Jean-Pierre Chauffour, 03 October 2009
World leaders have violated their repeated pledges to resist protectionist pressures. This column says that fighting protectionism is both an economic imperative and a moral responsibility to make sure that the darkest hours of the 20th century do not repeat themselves.
Simon Evenett, 24 September 2009
Simon Evenett of the University of St Gallen talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about ‘Broken Promises’, the latest report from Global Trade Alert, which collates information on state measures taken since last November that discriminate against foreign commercial interests, and reveals how the G20 countries have broken their 'no protectionism' pledge. The interview was recorded in Geneva at the inaugural Thinking Ahead on International Trade conference in September 2009.
Simon Evenett, 22 September 2009
Economists have been particularly wary of protectionism since the recession’s onset. This column presents new evidence that numerous governments, including G20 nations, have implemented protectionist measures. It calls for G20 members to halt further trade-distorting measures and review those identified by major monitoring initiatives.
Simon Evenett, 17 September 2009
The 2nd Report from Global Trade Alert reveals how the G20 countries have broken their 'no protectionism' pledge
Claude Barfield, 01 August 2009
Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama has failed to grasp the nettle on trade and investment policy. This column says Obama has been weak and indecisive in the face of deep divisions within the Democratic Party over international economic policy. His deference to Congress has resulted in poor policymaking.
Simon Evenett, 10 July 2009
A month after Global Trade Alert was launched, this report looks at the findings so far.
Simon Evenett, Bernard Hoekman, 06 July 2009
For most nations in the world, this is a trade crisis. Leaving China and India aside, income of developing nations is expected to drop 1.6% this year, even though these nations had nothing to do with subprime assets or the financial shenanigans that triggered the crisis. A new CEPR-World Bank e-book reports that protectionism is not yet a problem, but argues that the “fateful allure of protectionism” is a threat. To counter the threat, four concrete steps should be taken to reinforce the global trade and financial architecture.
The Editors, 03 July 2009
This new ebook summarizes the views of leading researchers and trade policy practitioners, who met at a CEPR-World Bank conference to assess the cross-border impact of policy responses to the crisis.
Simon Evenett, 16 May 2009
Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have pointed to what they see as the "green shoots" of economic recovery. However, this column shows that the people who undertake international trade aren't taking a sanguine view about trade protectionism. Governments need to eschew all forms of beggar-thy-neighbour policy and follow the five steps described below. This is no time for premature self-congratulation on a victory over protectionism.
David Laborde, Antoine Bouët, 14 May 2009
The current financial crisis has fostered a demand for protectionism and put the Doha Round at the back of the agenda. This column argues that a failed Doha Development Agenda would send the wrong signal in terms of global governance and could lead to an unravelling of the past 15 years of trade liberalisation.
Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo, 30 March 2009
This column proposes the launch of a WTO Crisis Round at the G20 summit. Unlike the Doha round’s liberalising agenda, such a crisis round would simply aim to “hold the line on protectionism” and prevent a retreat from current levels of trade openness. This column that says that such action is necessary for the global trading system to survive these “potentially perilous times.”
Andreas Freytag, Sebastian Voll, 25 March 2009
The crisis offers an opportunity for emerging countries to use their increased economic weight and take the lead in international trade policy, putting the industrialised countries’ own reforms and global initiatives under pressure. This column argues that emerging markets should take this opportunity to liberalise their external policies.
Barry Eichengreen, Douglas Irwin, 17 March 2009
What do we know about the spread of protectionism during the Great Depression and what are the implications for today’s crisis? This column says the lesson is that countries should coordinate their fiscal and monetary measures. If some do and some don’t, the trade policy consequences could once again be most unfortunate.
Richard Newfarmer, Elisa Gamberoni, 04 March 2009
Trade protection is on the rise around the world and risks pushing the economy into prolonged contraction. Officials have proposed more than 60 new trade restrictions since the beginning of the financial crisis. While a serious outbreak of protectionism has yet to occur, vigilance and leadership are required.
Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 04 December 2008
A collection of essays from 17 leading trade scholars from around the world addressing the question of what world leaders should do to stop the spread of protectionism.
Simon Evenett, 28 January 2009
The current crisis raises serious challenges to the maintenance of open-markets but many policy makers and analysts remain complacent in defending trade openness. This column calls on these actors to defend their convictions, and proposes further debate on the policy options required to get out of the current predicament while protectionism in its many forms.
Jagdish Bhagwati, 09 January 2009
In this column Jagdish Bhagwati sounds the alarm on Obama’s eloquent silence on key trade issues and his failure to balance his protectionist appointments with powerful trade proponents that would produce a “team of rivals”. Multilateral free trade is being dangerously let down.
Joseph Francois, 17 December 2008
The worry about protectionism should not be centred on completing the Doha Round. This column suggests 80% of world trade is locked-in under legally binding tariffs and the real worry is that of excessive use of antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard protection, misguided public subsidies, rising protection in the poorest countries, and temptation in the US Congress to violate existing treaty commitments.