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Monday, 31 May 2010

EU calls on trading partners to remove protectionist barriers

Almost 280 trade restrictive measures have been put in place by the European Union’s major trade partners during the economic crisis over the last 18 months according to a new report published today by the European Commission. Contrary to the G20 commitment, hardly any measures have been removed despite signs of economic recovery in most countries. The European Commission calls on trading partners to remove these restrictions in order to give a much needed boost to the recovery. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: "There is a risk that trade restrictive measures introduced by our partners during the crisis will become part of the trade regime even when the economy picks up speed. What we need now is an exit strategy from protectionism."The European Commission has been issuing reports on the trade restrictive measures adopted by major trade partners since the beginning of the economic crisis. This monitoring mechanism has been important to prevent an escalation of trade protectionism during the downturn. The recent report covers the EU's thirty main trading partners over the period from October 2008 to April 2010. The protectionist measures range from classical trade barriers such as import bans or tariff increases to "buy national" and other behind-the-border policies. The report finds that many of the new barriers are rapidly becoming permanent features of the world trading system.

Source: European Commission

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