20 May 2009

Trade protectionism increasing, says business group

9:09 am on 20 May 2009

Business leaders say there are signs that some Pacific Rim governments are using stimulus packages to mount trade barriers.

The APEC business advisory council, ABAC, says it has started monitoring the efforts of countries to bolster their battered economies.

It thinks these additional spending packages should promote economic and structural reforms, and not be used to prop up poorly performing sectors or enterprises.

An ABAC members from New Zealand, Stephen Jacobi says there has been an increase in protectionism but no "wholesale descent into protectionism"

He says trade remedies have been increasing, for example anti-dumping actions have risen 28% over the last year.

The business leaders also expressed their frustration that the Doha talks remains uncompleted after eight years of negotiations, and asked governments to push the WTO to set a deadline for the conclusion of the round by early next year.