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WTO Report Shows Increase in Trade Restrictions On Food, Fertilizer

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General’s annual overview of developments in the international trading environment has shown that trade restrictions are increasing, particularly on food, feed and fertilizers, while the stockpile of import restrictions in force also continues to grow.

Speaking at her annual WTO Trade Monitoring Report presentation at a meeting of the Trade Policy Review Body, the Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called on WTO members to refrain from adopting new trade-restrictive measures.

According to her, particularly export restrictions that can further contribute to a worsening of the global economic outlook, while urging them to cooperate to keep markets open and predictable in order to allow goods to move around the world to where they are needed.

“Members have increasingly implemented new trade restrictions, in particular on the export side, first in the context of the pandemic and more recently in the context of the war in Ukraine and the food security crisis. Although some of these export restrictions have been lifted, many others persist,” she said.

“Out of the 78 export restrictive measures on food, feed, and fertilizers introduced since the start of the war in late February, 57 are still in place, covering roughly $56.6 billion of trade. These numbers have increased since mid-October, which should be a cause for concern.

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