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WTO sees no tsunami of trade protectionism after financial crisis

2010-03-12 16:58 BJT

The financial crisis has not provoked a tsunami of trade protectionism as many economists feared, World Trade Organiztion (WTO) spokesman Keith Rockwell said on Wednesday.

Rockwell told journalists in a video press conference that there has been some slippage with regard to trade policies, but all those measures together affect no more than 1 percent of global trade.

"There has not been a tsunami of trade protectionism," he said.

The crisis has led to unemployment and political pressure, which is the reason why some countries are using tools such as anti-dumping duty against foreign goods.

However, there is a negligible difference in openness between now and the pre-crisis situation, said Rockwell. He also pointed out that Malaysia and Mexico have even brought down their trade barriers.

When asked about the increasing number of cases against Chinese goods recently, such as EU's anti-dumping duty on Chinese shoes and the U.S. punitive duties against Chinese tires and steel, Rockwell said it's very important that the big players work together to try to minimize trade tensions in times of overall economic uncertainty.

According to Rockwell, the global trade is growing again after it contracted 12 percent in 2009. Though a clear projection can't be made right now as the WTO economists are still calculating data, the recovery is on its way.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: Xinhua