The Trump-effect on trade

The Trump-effect on trade


Melanie Ullrich, Business and Policy Programme Manager

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) recorded a net reduction on global trade restriction, according to the latest WTO Monitoring Report, which reviews trade and trade-related measures implemented by WTO Members during the period from mid-October 2016 to mid-May 2017.

Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the WTO, said: “It shows that WTO members recognize the benefits of further trade opening and are continuing to show moderation and restraint in trade policy, despite the persistent uncertainty facing the global economy.”

Despite Donald Trump’s “America First” policy, more steps to free trade globally have been taken since his inauguration. 74 new restrictive measures have been put in place, including tariffs and customs regulations, while 80 steps have been taken to help trade, including cutting tariffs or simplifying customs procedures.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said in an interview with Reuters : “I do not regard President Trump as a gift maybe, but it is true that many countries have started to look around more broadly. Other countries feel that they need to look out for new friends and other allies, so yes, it has increased interest in cooperation with Europe and with others.”

The European Union has been pushing to conclude trade deals and just recently succeeded with Japan, and pressing ahead with Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN members such as Malaysia and Indonesia.