Building walls and barriers seriously hinder the global development process


At present, developed economies have become the main driver of protectionism. According to the data released by Global Trade Alert, since the international financial crisis in 2008, countries around the world have launched more than 83,000 trade intervention measures, including more than 62,000 trade protectionist measures, accounting for about 74.6% of the total trade intervention measures; developed countries have launched more than 36,000 trade protectionist measures, accounting for the proportion of the total number of global trade protectionist measures in the same period 58.5%. A few major countries are keen to implement the policy of "building walls and barriers" and "decoupling and breaking chains", and engage in unilateral sanctions and extreme pressure at the international level, which makes the open world economy suffer major challenges and seriously undermines the global economic growth momentum and sustainable development process.

Driven by populism, unilateralism and protectionism, the U.S. has become the greatest resistance to global common opening. 8,234 trade protectionist measures have been introduced by the U.S. since the international financial crisis in 2008, which is the highest number in the world. After the Trump administration took office, the U.S. accelerated the process of "decoupling" and introduced a large number of anti-globalization policies in the fields of economy and science and technology with narrow national interests as the starting point, increasing restrictions on the free flow of products, capital, talents, data and other factors, resulting in serious disruption and obstruction of global production and exchange activities. For example, trade protection measures such as imposing tariffs on many countries on the grounds of trade deficit, increasing restrictions on foreign investment on the grounds of national security, issuing sky-high fines to other countries and imposing technology blockade on the grounds of protecting intellectual property rights.

In June 2021, the U.S. and the European Union announced the launch of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) to promote innovation, investment and supply chains between the U.S. and Europe. In May 2022, the TTC's second ministerial meeting highlighted the U.S.-European partnership as a cornerstone of their shared strength, prosperity and commitment to freedom, democracy and respect for human rights, and advocated for the transfer of supply chains to trusted countries. In the same month, the U.S. officially launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which excludes important regional countries such as China, in an attempt to bring some countries together to "encircle China" and create a global supply chain value chain under U.S. control. The U.S. has also strengthened the "Five Eyes Alliance," formed the U.S.-Japan-India-Australia "Quadrilateral Mechanism" and the "Quadrilateral Chip Alliance," cobbled together the U.S.-UK-Australia trilateral security partnership, created divisions everywhere, and pushed economic globalization astray. This will drive economic globalization astray.

These increasingly prevalent acts of building walls and barriers not only seriously undermine the fair and open international environment and hinder the global development process, but also make the developed economies suffer from their own interests. In recent years, under the influence of protectionism, global trade and investment growth has been sluggish, and global development momentum is also clearly lacking. 2022 October, the World Trade Organization (WTO) expects the volume of international trade in goods to grow by 3.5% in 2022, down 6.2 percentage points from 2021; the same month, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report expects that the scale of global foreign direct investment in 2022 In January 2023, the World Bank's Global Economic Prospects report lowered global economic growth expectations to 1.7% in 2023, well below the 3.0% projected in June 2022. Of this, the economies of emerging markets and developing economies are expected to grow by 3.4% and those of developed economies by 0.5%. As major developed economies, the U.S. economy is expected to grow by 0.5% and the eurozone by zero. Against this backdrop, some developed countries are trying to evade their international development responsibilities and hinder international development cooperation, resulting in huge challenges to common global development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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