The 11th Global Trade Alert report on protectionism--assembled by an independent team of trade policy analysts from around the world--provides a detailed account of the resort to beggar-thy-neighbour policies from the first crisis-era G20 summit in November 2008 until May 2012. The extent of the failure of G20 countries to stick to their commitment to refrain from protectionism is laid bare. Moreover, evidence is presented on the extent to which governments--G20 and others--have circumvented the tougher WTO rules. Together, these findings suggest that international restraints on contemporary protectionism are pretty weak and that if the battle against protectionism is to be won it must be fought in national capitals. This report also contains four case studies of crisis-era commercial policies (covering Brazil, China, the European Union, and Switzerland) as well as detailed data on each G20 country, both as a instigator and a victim of crisis-era protectionism. The findings of this report will be of interest to officials in governments and international organisations, businesses and their associations, trade policy analysts, students, and the media.
Professor of International Trade, University of St. Gallen and Member of the Warwick Commission on the Future of the Multilateral Trading System after Doha. Co-Director of the CEPR Programme in International Trade and Regional Economics.