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Tag Archives: Protectionism

International commerce is stalling. The growth in exports of goods and services is this year set to fall below the overall expansion of global GDP for the first time in 15 years. Myopic politicians, ignoring the lessons of history, are succumbing to the siren calls of protectionism. The world economy is becoming more insular.

The World Trade Organization, the most important trade body on earth, just slashed its 2016 forecast for the increase in total international commerce from 2.8pc to 1.7pc – well short of its 2.2pc estimate for the growth of the world economy as a whole.

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Today marks the start of the G20 summit. Just another meeting of officialdom, you might think. Yet more sterile photo opportunities and meaningless pre-written communiqués.

If that’s your initial reaction, then I sympathise. On previous evidence, you’re right. This G20 summit, though, could really matter. The global economy, despite massive stimulus from the world’s leading central banks, remains in the doldrums – so ministerial minds are focussed. And, for the first time, the G20 is being hosted by China.

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