There are restrictions on 10.6% of G20 imports

At the end of 2020, around 10.6% of G20 imports were affected by import restrictions implemented by the G20 economies since 2009 and are still in effect.

Of course, this comes amid a general deterioration in terms of the total value of G20 imports.

For this indicator, no information was received from the G20 economies on the termination of import restrictions not related to Covid-19.

This is not particularly unusual as such information is most frequently provided in the context of the year-end monitoring exercise.

Cumulative trade coverage of G20 import-restrictive measures on goods in force since 2009

Likewise, trade coverage for the termination of import restrictions by the G20 represents 0.09% of total G20 imports, suggesting that any rollback or phasing out of such measures remains negligible.

Accurate estimation of the reversal of restrictive measures on imports, and eventually total stocks, is complicated by the fact that many temporary measures remain in effect well beyond the expected termination date.

Furthermore, the WTO Secretariat does not always obtain accurate information on changes to notified measures.

As a result, the figures are estimates based on information recorded in the Trade Monitoring Database since 2009.

G20 imports

These estimates are also conditioned by the availability of termination dates for restrictive measures on imports and the HS codes of the products covered.

The table above shows that the G20 import restriction reserve in force has grown steadily since 2009, in value terms and as a percentage of world imports, with a significant increase in both from 2017 to 2018.

This specific jump is largely explained by the measures introduced on steel and aluminum, and by the tariff increases introduced as part of the bilateral trade tensions.