EU trade chief denounces hike in protectionism

18th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Protectionist measures by the EU's trading partners have risen 30 percent this year, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said Tuesday, accusing G20 members of having "not kept all their promises".

"We have found that over the last year 130 new trade restrictive measures have been introduced by the EU's trading partners -- a rise of 30 percent," De Gucht told German industrialists.

He also complained that economic recovery in many countries had not led to the reversal of protectionist steps, adding: "So, measures designed to temporarily support demand hit by the crisis are now locked-in."

And referring to the group of the world's 20 leading and emerging markets, he added: "The members of the G20 have clearly not kept all their promises."

He had recently already raised concerns about protectionist measures put in place by G20 members Argentina and Brazil. The latter recently imposed a 30- percent tax hike on imported vehicles.

The EU commissioner also stressed the need for progress in the Doha trade liberalisation talks, saying a new multilateral trade accord would be the "best way to guarantee free and fair global trading rules".

The talks launched in the Qatari capital in 2001 have been stalled for years.

"And prospects for reaching concrete negotiating results when ministers meet in December do not look encouraging," De Gucht added, referring to the next stage in the negotiations.

© 2011 AFP

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