Washington: The World Bank has said that major economies have raised protectionist trade barriers despite their collective pledge to refrain from such actions in the face of the global recession.
A World Bank study showed 17 of the Group of 20 developed and developing countries have implemented trade-restricting measures since G20 leaders signed a pledge at an emergency summit last November to avoid protectionist measures.
“Leaders must not heed the siren-song of protectionist fixes, whether for trade, stimulus packages, or bailouts,” said World Bank president Robert Zoellick, on Tuesday.
“Economic isolationism can lead to a negative spiral of events such as those we saw in the 1930s, which made a bad situation much, much worse.”
At a G20 summit hosted on 15 November 2008 by then-US president George W Bush in Washington, leaders signed the pledge to avoid raising trade barriers as they forge a coordinated response to the deepening economic slump and an intensifying financial crisis.
The G20 includes the Group of Seven industrialised countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- and major developing countries Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey, as well as the European Union.