The Trade Monitoring Exercise of the WTO provides regular and up-to-date information on global trends in trade measures and trade policy making. It is the only cross-cutting, substantive and systemic-wide transparency function in the WTO which allows the membership to conduct regular and non-legal peer reviews every six months.
The WTO produces two series of Trade Monitoring Reports:
- WTO-wide reports on trade-related developments covering the whole WTO membership and observers
- Joint reports with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on trade and investment measures taken by G20 economies.
Trade Monitoring Database
The database provides information on trade measures implemented by WTO members and observers since October 2008. The database is updated each time a new trade monitoring report has been discussed by WTO members.
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Aim of the reports
The WTO's trade monitoring exercise and the resulting series of reports date back to the global financial and economic crisis in 2008-09. As the WTO's only cross-cutting platform for transparency on members' trade measures, the trade monitoring exercise provides members with regular opportunities to take stock of and review the latest developments in trade policy and trade policy making.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trade Monitoring Section coordinated the process of verifying with WTO members the specific trade measures implemented in response to the global health crisis. Regular updates about members' measures were published on a dedicated webpage.
Preparation and discussion of the reports
The WTO Secretariat works closely with all delegations to collect complete, up-to-date and accurate information on their trade and trade-related measures. An important step is the Secretariat's verification exercise, which provides members with the opportunity to confirm relevant information collected from non-official sources.
The WTO-wide reports, produced twice a year, are discussed at meetings of the WTO's Trade Policy Review Body. The reports are produced under the responsibility of the WTO Director-General.
Joint reports on G20 trade and investment measures
In response to the request from G20 leaders in 2009, reports are circulated jointly with the OECD and UNCTAD twice a year. The G20 reports provide regular updates for G20 sherpas, ministerial meetings and G20 summits.
Background papers on WTO trade monitoring exercise
A list of all COVID-19 measures taken by WTO members and observers regarding goods, services, intellectual property and support measures communicated by WTO members and observers to the Secretariat is available here. These lists of measures are not exhaustive and are updated regularly by the WTO Secretariat.
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