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G20 fails to walk talk on protectionism

15/09/2009

This FT article by Alan Beattie chronicles how the G20 have consistently failed to live up to their protestations about not taking protectionist measures since their meeting last November. Apparently one member or another breaks the pledge every 3 days.

So much for the need to free trade to lead us out of recession.

The sidebar over the trade inchicken meat between the US and China is illuminating.

In addition the article quotes Prof Simon Evenett of St Gallen University on how many of the measures taken distort trade unduly and that in his view the WTO is far too complacent.

As well as implementing about 60 trade-harming measures in each of the first two quarters of this year, big governments were additionally planning another 130.

“Only the most cavalier observer could dismiss the harm being done to exports and their possible contribution to economic recovery,” he said.

The article noted as well that despite all the rhetoric about ‘green’, innovation and future ares of growth the great majority of these potectionist measures were in decling smokestack industries or agriculture.

Rather gives the lie to it all and demonstrates yet again the hypocritical posturing of the EU and the USA amongst others.

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