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Taking Stock of Trade Protectionism Since 2008


  • Datt, Mohini

    () (World Bank)

  • Hoekman, Bernard

    () (World Bank)

  • Malouche, Mariem

    () (World Bank)


Following the onset of the financial crisis in September 2008 and the subsequent “Great Trade Collapse” (Baldwin 2009), many countries actively used trade policy instruments as part of their response to the global recession. Governments pursued a mix of trade liberalization, trade promotion, and trade restrictions. The choice of trade policy has varied, with limited use of tariff hikes or antidumping and safeguard actions. Sector-specific support to industries dominated initial responses to the crisis, and there has been increasing resort to nontariff measures. Recent research suggests that vertical specialization—the growth in global supply chains—has played a significant role in limiting the use of traditional protectionist instruments. Pressures on governments to support domestic economic activity may increase, given current gloomy economic prospects and more binding macroeconomic policy constraints, and the number of protectionist measures has recently risen. Open trade cannot be taken for granted, thus the need for monitoring persists.

Suggested Citation

  • Datt, Mohini & Hoekman, Bernard & Malouche, Mariem, 2011. "Taking Stock of Trade Protectionism Since 2008," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 72, pages 1-9, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:prmecp:ep72

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2012. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 422-427.
    2. Guillaume Daudin & Christine Rifflart & Danielle Schweisguth, 2011. "Who produces for whom in the world economy?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1403-1437, November.
    3. Hiau Looi Kee & Cristina Neagu & Alessandro Nicita, 2013. "Is Protectionism on the Rise? Assessing National Trade Policies during the Crisis of 2008," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 342-346, March.
    4. Olivier Cadot & Mariem Malouche & Sebastián Sáez, 2012. "Streamlining Non-Tariff Measures : A Toolkit for Policy Makers," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6019, June.
    5. Brad J. McDonald & Christian Henn, 2011. "Protectionist Responses to the Crisis; Damage Observed in Product-Level Trade," IMF Working Papers 11/139, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Chad P. Bown, 2010. "China's WTO Entry: Antidumping, Safeguards, and Dispute Settlement," NBER Chapters,in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 281-337 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael P. Leidy, 1997. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Pressures for Protection under Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws: Empirical Evidence from the United States," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 132-144, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kareem, Fatima Olanike & Martinez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada & Brümmer, Bernhard, 2016. "Protecting Health or Protecting Imports? Evidence from EU Non-Tariff Barriers," Discussion Papers 241267, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    2. repec:eee:reveco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:185-202 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    trade; protectionism; financial crisis; trade policy; recession; trade liberalization; trade promotion; trade restrictions; WTO; Doha;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations


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