BRUSSELS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) said in a report on Monday that global efforts to combat rising trade protectionism need to be reinforced to help shield the fragile economic recovery.
According to the EU Report on Potentially Trade-Restrictive Measures, about 150 new trade restrictions introduced by EU over the last year, whereas only 18 existing measures have been dismantled. A total of almost 700 new measures have been identified since October 2008.
The report said there has been a sharp increase in the use of measures applied directly at the border, especially in the form of import duty hikes. Brazil, Argentina, Russia and Ukraine stand out for having applied the heaviest tariff increases.
The EU also noted that measures forcing the use of domestic goods and relocation of businesses have continued to spread, especially in government procurement markets. Brazil accounted for more than one-third of restrictions related to government procurement, followed by Argentina and India.
The EU said some countries continue to shield some of their domestic industries from foreign competition to the disadvantage of their consumers and other industry sectors. At same time, the EU blamed Brazil and Indonesia for providing the most striking examples of this approach.
"All of us need to stick to our pledge to fight back against protectionism. It is worrisome to see so many restrictive measures still being adopted and virtually none abolished," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
Trade protectionism is an important point on the agenda of the G20 Summit taking place in Saint Petersburg on 5 and 6 September 2013.
"The G20 agreed a long time ago to avoid protectionist tendencies because we all know these only hurt the global recovery in the long run," De Gucht said.