The European Union’s trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, delivered a tough speech on free trade today in Shanghai. He warned that G20 attempts to prevent a new rash of trade restrictions have been only minimally successful:
Instead of being dismantled, as the G20 countries have promised, the number of
protectionist measures put in place since the crisis has increased. 425 of the
potentially trade-restrictive measures that were installed since the onset of the crisis
remain in force, whereas only 71 have been removed to date. Over the last twelve
months a total of 131 new measures were introduced.