WLG 2019-2020 Report on Global Trade Policy


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Handbooks & Guides 2019-2020 Report on Global Trade Policy
2019-2020 Report on Global Trade Policy

Not a WLG Member?

No problem! You can sign up for news related to our Practice & Industry Groups, global guides and other WLG resources.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently noted that world trade is continuing to face strong headwinds in 2019 and 2020 after already growing more slowly than expected in 2018. International trade is weighed down by several factors, including, inter alia, new tariffs and sanctions affecting widelytraded goods, weaker global economic growth, volatility in financial markets and tighter monetary conditions in developed countries. Heightened trade tensions cannot explain all of the trade slowdown but they have undoubtedly played a significant role as consumers and firms alike have anticipated new trade measures taking effect. As nearly every unilateral trade measure is accompanied by a retaliatory act, trade tensions have wide international repercussions. Likewise, foreign investment control has become a top enforcement priority throughout several jurisdictions thereby slowing down the creation of new trade relationships.

Against this background and with the multilateral negotiations under the auspices of the WTO locked in stalemate, the focus of trade politics is currently on bilateral agreements such as the EU-Mercosur trade agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan. Those free trade agreements are sending a powerful signal that some of the world’s biggest economies still reject protectionism. However, especially in times of increasing trade tensions, it is vital that the rulesbased multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its core, is upheld and reinforced. Among others, the failure of the TTIP negotiations and the still possible No-Deal Brexit scenario prove that a strong and sound multilateral trading system is indispensable as the foundation of international trade.


World Law Group (WLG) member firms’ day-today work is affected by the ongoing international trade tensions. Our trade practices include creating customized solutions to help clients achieve their business objectives when facing new trade barriers such as tariffs and sanctions.

This Report provides you with an overview on top trade policy priorities and challenges in several WLG member jurisdictions, outlining the overall approach country-by-country on international trade and specifying concrete policy measures applied such as new tariffs, sanctions and FDI control. Finally, our trade experts describe how the nature of their practice has evolved over the last two years and what further challenges they foresee down the road.

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Legal Update
Date Posted: May 11, 2022

Updates from Shearn Delamore & Co. on the changes to income tax, customs duties, and the tax corporate governance framework in Malaysia.

Legal Update
Date Posted: May 1, 2022

Before implementing the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (the CREATE Act), the Philippines adhered to the "cross-border doctrine," under which ecozones and freeport zones were considered foreign territories, even if they were situated within the Philippines.

Legal Update
Date Posted: April 29, 2022

What will the recent sanctions placed upon Russia by the United Kingdom, European Union, and the United States mean for existing and prospective financing transactions? In South Africa, these implications should be thought through in the context of facility documentation and how it documents sanctions regimes.