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Creating opportunities | Brussels, 22 June 2012

EU Trade Commissioner stresses need for G20 vigilance in fight against protectionism

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht welcomed this week’s announcement by G20 leaders to maintain the freeze on protectionist measures until end 2014, but today underlined the need for all trade partners to respect this engagement in their daily practice at such a critical time for the global economy.

"This is a positive sign in a worrying environment. I welcome in particular the commitment by G20 leaders to notify in a timely manner any trade and investment restrictive measures. The EU track record is strong in this respect and I encourage other countries to follow suit. Despite latest assurances, we must all stay vigilant to ensure that the G20's renewed commitment will now be genuinely put in practice. The EU will continue to lead the fight against protectionism and closely scrutinise the measures adopted by its trading partners", stated EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

In its ninth report on potentially trade-restrictive measures issued just before the G20 Summit, the European Commission identified a clear increase in protectionism around the world. The pace of introduction of new restrictive measures has in fact accelerated over the last year.

Furthermore, the state of G20 countries' compliance with regards to the removal of existing measures remains clearly insufficient. Between September 2011 and 1 May 2012, the roll-back of measures slowed down: only 13 measures have been removed, compared to 40 measures between October 2010 and September 2011.

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