Russia implemented more protectionist measures than any other country in 2013, according to independent trade monitoring service Global Trade Alert.
Russia accounted for 20 percent of the protectionist policies identified by GTA, with 78 steps ranging from cuts in foreign worker quotas to state support for the earth metals industry, agriculture and aircraft makers. Russia also accounted for almost one-third of the protectionism imposed by G20 nations, 4-Traders.com reports.
"Russia's policy of economic restructuring is nothing more than a potent mix of rampant subsidization and aggressive protectionism. With this record Russia isn't a poster child for the WTO accession process," GTA's coordinator Simon Evenett, a professor at the Swiss Institute for International Economics, said, according to 4-Traders.com.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have linked their trade policies in a single customs union that was jointly responsible for 33 percent of worldwide trade protectionism during the year, GTA data shows.
"The customs union was responsible for 15 times as many protectionist measures as China while having only an eighth of the population," Evenett said, 4-Traders.com reports. "It looks like 2013 will confirm the surge in protectionism seen in 2012. No amount of wishful thinking can hide the fact that there is little restraint built into the system."
GTA data also showed that Brazil, India, Japan and the EU together accounted for one-quarter of world protectionism.
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