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NFTC Cautions Against Global Protectionism in Response to Financial Crisis
Date: 1/28/2009 1:38:00 PM
Written By: Jennifer Cummings or Eric Thomas, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491


Encourages World Leaders to Fulfill G-20 Pledge

Washington DC – In response to a report released late last week by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which revealed that key U.S. trading partners are imposing higher tariffs on exports, NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin today released the following statement.
 
“Two months ago, leaders of the G-20 nations convened in Washington to develop policies aimed at mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis.  In addition to other commitments, world leaders pledged not to put in place new protectionist tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. 

“Today, as the new WTO report indicates, some nations are backtracking on their G-20 pledges.  Breaking the trade barriers promise threatens to undermine the global trading system and the credibility of the G-20.
 
“While the WTO report suggests that the impact of the crisis on tariff rates has been limited thus far, demands continue to mount for new and higher levels of protection.  India’s decision to raise steel tariffs, for example, has been met with calls by Indian industry for even higher tariffs. Brazil just announced new measures which require importers of cars, motor vehicles, wheat, capital and other goods to obtain ‘pre-approval’ prior to receiving goods from overseas. In the United States and around the world, overly-trade-restrictive ‘buy national’ provisions are being debated as part of stimulus and recovery packages.  The world’s response to the global financial crisis really has yet to be seen.

“We call on world leaders gathering in Davos this week and in London for the G-20 meeting in April to find new ways to build bridges to prosperity rather than erecting new walls that jeopardize the global trading system and economic growth.  Enforcing the ‘no new tariffs pledge’ and working towards a successful conclusion to the Doha Round of trade negotiations would contribute to global growth and help bolster the credibility of global institutions like the G-20.  As history tells us, erecting new trade barriers could worsen the global crisis.”

For a full copy of the WTO report, please click here.

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Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years
The National Foreign Trade Council (
www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.