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Protectionism: Trade Restrictions Reach An All-Time High

The IMF says “geoeconomic fragmentation” would weigh on global GDP

The number of unilateral restrictions imposed by countries on cross-border trade and investment has grown massively over the past decade, reversing the general trend of liberalisation seen during most of the 20th century.

In 2022, new restrictions on goods, services and investment jumped 14% from the previous year, reaching more than 2600, according to Global Trade Alert data analysed by the IMF. This was more than six times higher than in 2013. Restrictions on investment experienced the greatest increase, reaching 239 last year — more than four times that imposed in 2021.


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