La dirección de la política comercial del G20 se vuelve más restrictiva en un contexto en el que el comercio mundial sigue creciendo a un ritmo lento

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Las medidas comerciales introducidas por las economías del G20 se han vuelto más restrictivas estos últimos meses, según el 30º Informe de vigilancia del comercio de la OMC sobre las medidas comerciales del G20, publicado el 18 de diciembre. En el Informe se indica que entre mediados de mayo y mediados de octubre de 2023, las economías del G20 introdujeron más medidas restrictivas que medidas de facilitación del comercio de mercancías, aunque el valor de las mercancías objeto de comercio cubiertas por las medidas de facilitación del comercio seguía superando el de las mercancías cubiertas por las restricciones. La Directora General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala instó al G20 a que diera muestras de liderazgo y contribuyera a la estabilidad y el crecimiento económicos mediante la reducción de las restricciones al comercio, ya fueran recientes o de larga data.

“The report is a cause for concern as it shows that the policy trend amongst G20 economies is moving in the wrong direction, even if they are also taking steps to facilitate trade. Export restrictions on food, feed, and fertilizer in particular continue to contribute to shortages, price volatility, and uncertainty. As the world’s leading economies, G20 countries should roll back trade restrictions, and exercise restraint in introducing new ones, so that global markets remain open and predictable, and products can flow to where they are needed,” said WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

“As WTO members prepare for the 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi in February 2024, G20 economies will play a central role in our efforts to deliver outcomes that strengthen the WTO as a backstop against trade barriers and boost global growth and development,” she added.

The report is set against a backdrop of continued slow growth in world trade. The WTO’s latest forecast (5 October 2023) estimated merchandise trade volume growth of 0.8% in 2023 (down from the previous estimate of 1.7%) and 3.3% in 2024 (nearly unchanged from 3.2% previously). In the first half of 2023, the volume of world merchandise trade was down 0.5% year-on-year, as high inflation and rising interest rates weighed on trade and output in advanced economies, and as property market strains prevented a stronger post-pandemic recovery in China.

The Trade Monitoring Report indicates that although the trade coverage of import-facilitating measures still exceeded that of restrictive ones during the review period, this gap has narrowed considerably. During the review period, trade-facilitating measures were estimated at USD 318.8 billion (down from USD 691.9 billion in the last report, issued in July 2023) and trade-restrictive ones at USD 246 billion (up from USD 88 billion).

For the first time since 2015, the monthly average of 9.8 new trade restrictions introduced by G20 economies during the review period outpaced that of trade-facilitating measures (8.8). In addition, the longstanding stockpile of G20 import restrictions in force showed no sign of any meaningful roll back of existing measures. By mid-October 2023, USD 2,287 billion worth of traded goods (representing 11.8% of G20 imports) were affected by import restrictions implemented by G20 economies since 2009.

Export restrictions have become more prominent since 2020, with a series of measures introduced first in the context of COVID-19 and more recently of the war in Ukraine and the food security crisis. Although some of these export restrictions have been rolled back, as of mid-October 2023, 75 export restrictions on food, feed and fertilizers were still in place globally.

The implementation of new COVID-19 trade-related measures by G20 economies decelerated further over the past five months, with the number of new COVID-19-related support measures falling sharply. As of mid-October 2023, 82.9% of G20 COVID-19 trade restrictions had been repealed, leaving 11 export restrictions in place. The trade coverage of the pandemic-related trade restrictions still in place was estimated at USD 15.1 billion (down from USD 16.2 billion).

The review period saw a significant increase in the introduction of new general economic support measures by G20 economies. These included environmental impact reduction programmes, renewable-energy production schemes, support for energy efficiency and decarbonization and for clean- and renewable-energy projects. Other measures included various support programmes for the agricultural sector, tourism, aviation and transport.

The report also shows that the succession of crises and the uncertain economic environment continue to weigh on international investment and in particular on foreign direct investment (FDI). This sustained weakness in FDI makes it more challenging to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This concern is amplified by the SDG investment gap in developing countries, the deficit in investment needed to help developing economies achieve the SDG targets. This has alarmingly widened from USD 2.5 trillion to about USD 4 trillion per year, leading up to 2030, according to data by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The WTO trade monitoring reports have been prepared by the WTO Secretariat since 2009. G20 members are Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Canada; China; the European Union; France; Germany; India; Indonesia; Italy; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Mexico; the Russian Federation; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; South Africa; Türkiye; the United Kingdom; and the United States.

Fuente: OMC