GENEVA — Textiles and apparel were among imports of manufactured goods subject to new protectionist measures, from antidumping investigations and tariff hikes to costly customs procedures, from G-20 nations over the last six months, a report by the World Trade Organization said Monday.
“The WTO’s system of trade rules helped to prevent a major protectionist response in the wake of the financial crisis, but the number of trade-restrictive measures that have been introduced remains a cause of concern,” said Roberto Azevêdo, WTO director-general.
The report compiled by Azevêdo for leaders of G-20 nations, which include the U.S., China, India, Argentina, Brazil and Indonesia, ahead of the annual G20 summit to be held in Antalya, Turkey, on Nov. 15 and 16, shows G-20 economies, “applied 86 new trade-restrictive measures.”
The report highlights the stockpile of restrictive measures “continues to grow,” and notes of the 1,441 protectionist measures introduced since 2008, only 354 had been removed by mid-October. As a result, the total still in place now stands at 1,087, up 5.4 percent compared with the previous six-month reporting period.
The list of new measures identified in the textiles and apparel sector included the initiation of antidumping investigations by China on imports of acrylic fiber from South Korea, Japan and Turkey; hefty hikes in import duties by Indonesia on a range of industrial goods, including apparel, in a move by the government to shore up domestic industries, and Argentina adding in its updated list reference pricing, also known as criterion values, for imports of certain textured yarn of polyesters from specific origins.
On the plus side, the report also noted among the 62 measures adopted by G-20 economies during the reporting period to facilitate trade was the temporary reduction by Brazil of import duties (to 2 percent) on certain acrylic or modacrylic staple fibers and on certain products such as viscose rayon yarn.
The WTO analysis on G-20 trade measures was part of a joint report with the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, and the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development.
“G-20 members introduced the lowest number of trade liberalizing measures since November 2013,” the agency heads said.