WTO members remove half of international trade restrictive measures on Covid-19

WTO members removed half of the restrictive measures on international trade related to Covid-19, that organization reported on Thursday.

Members and Observers of the WTO continued to revoke measures implemented in response to the pandemic, and by mid-May 2021 around 21% of the pandemic-related trade facilitation measures and 54% of the measures had been terminated. trade restrictive measures related to COVID-19, indicating more rapid removal of restrictive measures.

WTO Members also repealed 57% of the 114 export restrictions established since the start of the pandemic.

The estimated value of trade covered by Covid-19-related trade facilitation measures applied since the beginning of the pandemic amounted to $ 291.6 billion, while that of Covid-19-related restrictive measures was $ 205.8 billion .

According to preliminary estimates by the WTO Secretariat, the value of trade covered by trade facilitation measures still in force ($ 179.6 billion) is somewhat higher than that of restrictive measures ($ 106 billion).


Global trade and production have recovered faster than expected since the second half of 2020, after a steep decline during the first wave of the pandemic.

The change in trend was favored by the strong support of the governments’ monetary and fiscal policy, as well as by the arrival of effective vaccines against Covid-19.

According to the most recent WTO trade forecast, as of March 31, 2021, the volume of world merchandise trade will increase 8% in 2021 and 4% in 2022.

The pandemic continues to pose a serious threat to the global economy and public health.

Vaccine production has been slow and distribution uneven, contributing to significant differences from country to country in access to vaccines.

«If the international community fails to guarantee greater access to vaccines, which also benefits the poorest countries, the pandemic could resurface, significantly slowing the global economic recovery,» said the WTO.