Protectionism was labeled a primary concern in the World Trade Organization’s 2009 World Trade report, released yesterday. The Report, which is released annually, studies the role of trade agreements and the extent in which they are executed. The Report anticipates trade to remain on the decline, with world merchandise falling from 9 per cent to 10 per cent. “Well-balanced contingency measures, designed primarily to deal with a variety of unanticipated market situations, are key to the effectiveness and the stability of trade agreements and to avoiding high intensity protectionism,” WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy stated at the release.

The report concluded that trade transparency, limiting protectionist measures, and adhering to standing trade agreements were crucial in the stabilization of the economy. However, “Buy American” policies have become an increasingly popular remedy for U.S. companies that can’t compete with cheaper goods produced abroad. Consumers can only hope that Obama heeds the advice of the WTO, top economists, the Director of the International Monetary Fund, and the President of the World Bank to halt the protectionist drive.