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Mika Saito, Christian Henn, Rob Gregory, and Mr. Brad J. McDonald
The pace of trade reforms waned from the mid-2000s as protectionist sentiment began to increase. With the onset of the global financial crisis, reform progress not only halted but began to reverse. As we show in this note, new trade restrictions have had—in the limited products they targeted—a strong negative impact on trade. The aggregate impact of new restrictions is modest, at about 0.25 percent of global trade, as most countries have resisted a widespread resort to protectionism. Looking ahead, however, in 2010 sustained high unemployment, uneven growth, and an unwinding of government stimulus measures suggest that protectionist pressures may rise. Gaps in World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments leave ample scope to further restrict trade, so unless all countries vigorously resist protectionism this could threaten the economic recovery and drag down future growth. Continuing and further enhancing the monitoring of all protectionist measures and maintaining the high-level political awareness of the associated macroeconomic risks will help. But the surest way to avoid such a downside scenario is to tighten multilateral trade commitments by completing the WTO Doha Round. This can be viewed as a key part of the exit strategy from the global economic crisis.
Mr. Robert M Burgess
This paper discusses initial performance of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Macroeconomic Convergence Program. The SADC’s regional economic integration agenda includes a macroeconomic convergence program, intended to achieve and maintain macroeconomic stability in the region, thereby contributing to faster economic growth and laying the basis for eventual monetary union. As macroeconomic performance in the SADC region has improved in recent years, most countries are making progress toward, and in many cases exceeding, the convergence criteria. Most SADC member states have recorded solid macroeconomic performance in recent years, in general coming close too, and in many cases surpassing, the convergence targets specified for 2008. A notable exception in this regard is Zimbabwe, which was in the grip of hyperinflation. The macroeconomic targets for later years are ambitious and, in some cases, warrant further evaluation, given that achieving the targets may be neither necessary nor enough to achieve good macroeconomic results.
Mr. Brad J. McDonald, Rob Gregory, and Ms. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek
The actions proposed here focus on trade integration, substantially increasing exports of the poorest countries and helping them to meet the Millennium Development Goals. As the foundation for these ambitions, we emphasize the role of a secure, open global trading environment—strengthened further by concluding the WTO Doha Round. From this base, the poorest countries also need better trade preferences from the advanced and major emerging market countries (EMs). Building the capacity to take advantage of trade opportunities will require support from the international community and policy reforms—such as to trade regimes—by the poorest countries themselves. The Fifteen Point Action Plan proposed here could increase annual exports of the least-developed countries (LDCs) by $10 billion or more, with additional benefits for other Low-Income Countries (LICs).
Ms. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek, Rob Gregory, and Mr. Brad J. McDonald

The actions proposed here focus on trade integration, substantially increasing exports of the poorest countries and helping them to meet the Millennium Development Goals. As the foundation for these ambitions, we emphasize the role of a secure, open global trading environment—strengthened further by concluding the WTO Doha Round. From this base, the poorest countries also need better trade preferences from the advanced and major emerging market countries (EMs). Building the capacity to take advantage of trade opportunities will require support from the international community and policy reforms—such as to trade regimes—by the poorest countries themselves. The Fifteen Point Action Plan proposed here could increase annual exports of the least-developed countries (LDCs) by $10 billion or more, with additional benefits for other Low-Income Countries (LICs).

Rob Gregory, Christian Henn, McDonald Brad, and Saito Mika

The pace of trade reforms waned from the mid-2000s as protectionist sentiment began to increase. With the onset of the global financial crisis, reform progress not only halted but began to reverse. As we show in this note, new trade restrictions have had—in the limited products they targeted—a strong negative impact on trade. The aggregate impact of new restrictions is modest, at about 0.25 percent of global trade, as most countries have resisted a widespread resort to protectionism. Looking ahead, however, in 2010 sustained high unemployment, uneven growth, and an unwinding of government stimulus measures suggest that protectionist pressures may rise. Gaps in World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments leave ample scope to further restrict trade, so unless all countries vigorously resist protectionism this could threaten the economic recovery and drag down future growth. Continuing and further enhancing the monitoring of all protectionist measures and maintaining the high-level political awareness of the associated macroeconomic risks will help. But the surest way to avoid such a downside scenario is to tighten multilateral trade commitments by completing the WTO Doha Round. This can be viewed as a key part of the exit strategy from the global economic crisis.