Global trade has been hit by new and accumulated import restrictions just as economies need to rebuild in the COVID-19 crisis, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in a mid-year report on Friday. But some export constraints imposed on surgical masks, medicines and medical equipment early in the pandemic are being rolled back, it said. “Although the full impact of the pandemic is not yet reflected fully in trade statistics, it is expected to be very substantial,” WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said. The WTO said last month that estimates for the second quarter of 2020 indicated a year-on-year drop in world trade of about 18%. Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, the Saudi nominee for the top WTO job, has said that the organization needs to consider how best to navigate global trade and development. “Every country will...read more...