Nov 22, 2019

World trade is getting more restrictive

Reproduced from World Trade Organization; Note: Does not reflect cumulative value; Chart: Axios Visuals

Trade is getting more restrictive around the globe. In the six months through October, newly introduced trade restriction policies in G20 countries covered the 2nd highest amount of goods on record, according to a new report from the World Trade Organization.

G20 economies implemented 28 new trade-restriction measures in the last six months — not just through tariff increases, but also through import bans and stricter customs procedures.

  • What they're saying: “The report's findings should be of serious concern for G20 governments and the broader international community,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said in the release.
  • “New trade restrictions and increasing trade tensions will only add to the uncertainty that is dragging down growth in the world economy.”

Separately: Economists at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Thursday that “trade conflict, weak business investment and persistent political uncertainty are weighing down on the world economy and raising the risk of long-term stagnation.”

  • The report also warns that ratcheting up the U.S.-China trade war would “disrupt supply networks and weigh on confidence, jobs and incomes.”

Go deeper: The mixed signals on global trade

Go deeper

The trade war is kind of working

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

U.S. manufacturers and small businesses have been hit hard by the trade war, but recent data shows that China is really suffering.

Driving the news: China's total exports fell for the 12th straight month in November, dropping 1.1% from a year ago, and exports to the U.S. have fallen more than 20%, according to China’s customs administration.

Trump vs. the WTO

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Internationalists have always dreamed of a court with jurisdiction over all the countries of the world. In 1995, the World Trade Organization was created — allowing the world's countries to press claims against one another for the first time.

The state of play: That era lasted just 25 years. As of Tuesday, the Trump administration has, to all intents and purposes, brought it to an end.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

CEO optimism drops for 7th straight quarter

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A closely-watched index of CEO hiring, sales and spending plans declined again, according to a survey of some of the biggest corporations in the U.S. by Business Roundtable, their trade group.

Why it matters: The survey has shown declining optimism for almost two years. As we get closer to the 2020 election, the record-high CEO optimism levels that peaked during Trump’s presidency have now vanished — largely thanks to trade war uncertainty.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019