There are signs for liberalization of global trade, as the global trade constraints declined in H1 2017. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO) since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States more steps in liberalization of the global trade have been taken rather than measures to curb it. The WTO Global Monitoring Report covers the period from October 2016 to May 2017, but notes positive move into the trade, despite of the concerns that the Trump administration will introduce a series of punitive rules to protect jobs in USA.
“The report shows an encouraging reduction in the pace of introduction of new trade-restricting measures, which have reached their lowest average monthly level since the financial crisis”, said the WTO’s Director General, Roberto Azevedo.
The half-year report, which is broadly coincident with the period after the election of US President Donald Trump, showed that the 164 WTO members have introduced 74 new restrictive measures, including tariffs, customs regulations and quantitative restrictions on trade, which have a trade impact of 49 billion USD. At the same time, the parties have taken 80 steps to support and liberalize trade, such as tariff cuts or simplification of customs procedures, impacting by 183 billion USD.
Trading restrictions reached 22 per month in 2011, roughly twice as much as the last report.
During the period under consideration, the United States introduced new restrictions, including a provisional duty on Canadian wood of coniferous wood. In turn, China, which is mostly accused of unfair pricing and illegal subsidies, has introduced new restrictions on cybersecurity law, requiring data generated in China to be stored in China. The country has also introduced a law on film production, according to which 2/3 of the screenings in Chinese cinemas will be Chinese. But Beijing also lowered the approval requirements for foreign banks to invest in Chinese banks and provide investment banking services in China.