Tuesday, October 26, 2010

EU Criticises Protectionism among Trading Partners

(Europolitics – Chiade O’Shea)

The European Union has expressed concerns that its trading partners are using too many restrictive commercial measures, posing a threat to a speedy recovery from the financial and economic crisis. Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on 25 October called for an end to the practice.

“With the economic recovery still fragile, the world’s major economies must remove the trade restrictive measures that put a break on growth,” De Gucht said as he published a new report detailing the extent of these tariff and non-tariff barriers. The report, which De Gucht says is an important tool to monitor rises in protectionism, lays out over 300 restrictive trade measures taken by the European Union’s 30 top trade partners in the two years since the crisis began in 2008. They included so-called ‘classical trade barriers’ like import bans and tariff increases, but also the now infamous ‘non-tariff barriers’ such internal incentives to “buy national”. Read the complete report here.