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11ème rapport annuel de la Commission européenne sur les mesures protectionnistes

Textes et données d'approche générale de la crise

11ème rapport annuel de la Commission européenne sur les mesures protectionnistes

Messagepar causonsen » Jeu 27 Nov 2014 18:27

La Direction générale du commerce de la Commission européenne vient de publier son 11ème rapport annuel sur les mesures protectionnistes (" Potentially trade-restrictive measures in the context of the financial and economic crisis "), pour la période du 1er juin 2013 au 30 juin 2014.

Il en résulte que la tendance à la croissance des mesures protectionnistes se poursuit.

Nous reproduisons intégralement ci-après le résumé de ce rapport :

" The eleventh edition of the Report on the monitoring of potentially trade-restrictive measures of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade identifies the trade measures which were introduced by the EU's key trade partners between 1 June 2013 and 30 June 2014 and which have the potential to disrupt trade. This exercise has been carried out regularly since 2008. The report complements a similar biannual work by the WTO Secretariat on the measures adopted by G20 countries, with the same aim to monitor the implementation of global anti-protectionism commitments. It represents the contribution of the EU to the global surveillance on free and fair trade and the continuous effort to enforce existing trade rules as a cornerstone of EU trade policy.
The period between June 2013 and July 2014 could generally be characterised by further recovery of the world economy, and positive forecasts for the coming months. That said, economic and political developments since the beginning of 2014 indicate that this state of affairs cannot be taken wholly for granted. The global challenges related to security and concerns about the long term soundness of some developed and developing economies have unveiled the fragility of the current economic climate. While quick recovery is still not certain in developed countries, high growth figures are also not guaranteed in BRIC economies. As both former and latter are strongly related through the interplay of global value chains and corporate fabric, further recovery requires good trading conditions in order to channel growth between all players. Therefore, in the current favourable but uncertain economic climate trade is again to play a key role. Especially when regional political tensions come into play, trade should be the economic means to discharge such tensions at global level and ensure world growth remains unaffected. Impediments to trade of a protectionist nature can only block the vital streams through which global value chains, businesses and ultimately the world economy function and thrive.

It appears, however, that unimpeded world trade still remains a distant vision. This report has identified 170 new measures, exceeding the number identified in the previous 13 months period. This means protectionist trends are, once again, well enshrined in the trade policy menus of many countries – some of them members of the G20 – in spite of their formal commitment to fight protectionism.
Even more worrisome is that in that time span, the Report finds that only 12 previously imposed measures have been withdrawn (compared to 18 last year). The pace of removal has therefore considerably worsened, while the number of new measures increased as sharply as previously. This does not bode well in the current context of an unstable economic situation and international tensions, and can only put into question the true resolve of some of the G20 members featured in this Report as to their commitment to effectively fight protectionism.
Emerging economies still apply the bulk of new potentially-trade restrictive measures, this time in modified order, as Russia, China, India and Indonesia operated by far the most trade-impeding policies in the monitored period (they together adopted half of all measures). They were followed by Argentina, Egypt, the United States, South Africa, Turkey and Thailand.
More specifically, the main findings of this report are as follows:
 With 170 new measures imposed and only 12 previous measures formally removed in the reference period, the protectionist trends identified in previous reports remain not only unchanged, but become even more alarming, as the pace of roll-back of measures is now clearly below par.
 As a result, the stock of all potentially trade-restrictive measures observed since October 2008 grew to 858. At the same time, only 119 of those measures have been since then removed. While some of the older previously adopted measures may have expired automatically over the last six years, hundreds of protectionist measures still obstruct world trade, and their number continues to rise.

 This also means that the pace of adoption of measures is not decreasing (in line with the G20 commitment) but short of staying steady, it has even increased recently to 12 new measures per month.
 Among all types of measures applied, countries have again made the most extensive use of border measures in imports and exports, through numerous tariff increases, new import licensing procedures, reference values or minimum transaction prices, or banning trade altogether. The number of new import measures was again high (59) and reached the level of last year, confirming that countries prefer quick-fix restraints to solve their domestic competiveness problems. Russia has applied by far the highest number of individual measures affecting imports.
 Besides a high number of import measures, there was a surge in the application of exports restrictions (18) compared to previous monitoring periods. The previous total stock of 46 measures (accumulated since 2008) increased therefore in the last 13 months by 39%. The intensification of such a trend is particularly alarming as all countries are globally dependent on each other's natural resources. Beyond granting specific cost and access advantages to domestic players at the expense of foreign companies, such practices can have detrimental consequences for the global commodities markets, as they not only can affect or serve to regulate prices domestically but also worldwide. This time India stood out in the group of countries making use of export restrictions.

 This reporting period also brought an increased number of new measures applied behind the border (34) resulting in the discrimination of imported goods or foreign companies via fiscal and regulatory means or local content preferences (government procurement aside). This finding shows that despite a high number of provisions affecting imported goods at customs, countries increasingly attempt to also hit foreign competition with additional internal measures. In many cases such measures are part of cross-sectoral industrial policy schemes deploying a plethora of different implementing acts (fiscal, technical, localisation-related, etc.). Based on this year's figures, China resorted to the highest number of measures of this kind (9), which is more than a quarter of all 34 identified.
 Some measures were also adopted in the fields of services and investment, at a pace comparable to previous monitoring exercises (14 measures). This sustained phenomenon is rather odd, as FDIs and the successful establishment of economic players are key to domestic growth and a source of much needed tax revenues both at regional and central level. While China has recently taken steps to open up its market to foreign capital, it has also restricted foreign activity or discriminated against foreign companies in other cases, which lead it eventually to adopt the highest number of restrictive measures in the services and investment area.
 Finally, many countries continued in a steady manner to support their economic operators with new state aid measures and financial schemes, some in particular with the aim to boost exports. This contributes to distorting competitive conditions globally and the effects of such schemes can be noticed not only on domestic markets but also as they spread onto foreign markets. The trend in restricting government procurement markets was also sustained, especially in the United States.
As seen from the above findings, it is again mostly emerging economies which resorted to instruments protecting their markets, although they also benefit to the highest degree from a world economy open for trade in goods (the export of which they often rely upon heavily) and investment. In a situation of unstable growth, an open business environment, smooth commercial activities and free FDI flows are the key to ensure and preserve a robust economic performance. Still, certain policy choices continue to indicate that the temptation to foreclose the economy remains strong and is considered by some as the key to domestic success. These policies are often based on the assumption that a national industry can take advantage of open markets at the expense of foreign players originating from those markets. But in today's globally interconnected commercial world, where businesses must also import in order to be competitive in their exports, this conception spawns an unsustainable model,
leading only to a further slow-down, which is likely to hit back hardest at protectionist - and by the same token - inefficient economic models.
Efforts to achieve the common global goal of putting an end to protectionist tendencies should therefore be strengthened, as they can ultimately contaminate further the world economy and their effect can be negative for all operators, putting companies and nations' wealth at risk, while not solving individual countries' structural problems.
On 15-16 November, the G20 gathered at its annual Summit in Brisbane, Australia. Beyond giving an account of trends in the application of restrictive provisions and disclosing the names of countries standing behind such practices, this Report is above all a message of alarm to G20 members and a call to honour their commitments, in a mutual manner. With a G20 agenda aiming now at boosting growth and furthering the integration of the world economy for the benefit of everyone, world leaders must finally realise that this objective will not be achieved if trade channels upon which the world economic growth and development rest are obstructed.
In this line of thought and building on the reaffirmation of the anti-protectionism commitment taken at the summit in Brisbane, G20 countries should in the coming months further intensify the fight against protectionist trends and give tangible proof of their intentions not to resort to trade-restrictive measures, even in the after-crisis period, which is engraved more than ever with economic and political uncertainty. In particular, they ought to show their political courage to lead the way in rolling-back protectionist measures introduced in recent years.

Pour accéder au texte complet du rapport : Europa
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