No doubt, the measures by WTO members to restrict import has affected the increasing share of the world trade; however, the report by the Director-General on Trade-Related Developments shows a shift in measures to expedite imports, which contain products to resist the pandemic.
From 363 new measures on trade carried out by WTO members in a duration of mid-October 2019 and mid-May 2020, there were 198 trade-easing and 167 trade- restrictive measures. A huge number, about 71% of them are pandemic-related.
The report, announced at a session of the WTO’s Trade Policy Review Body, declares that 56 trade-restrictive measures, not linked to the Covid 19, basically included import bans, tariff rise, export duties, and tougher exports customs.
According to WTO assessment, the finance for import-restrictive measures, still in progress, is totaled at USD 1.7 trillion, accounting for 8.7% of global imports. The number has escalated since 2009.
Although restriction measures on trade are still ongoing, WTO members have taken steps to facilitate trade policies including removal of import tariffs, exclusion of import taxes, and a decline in export duties.