The value of world trade will fall 9% in 2009 compared to growth of a miserable 2% (not 4.5% as forecast) in 2008 the WTO said on Monday. World production will fall by 1-2% in 2009, the first fall since the 1930s. Further falls in trade can be anticipated as the recession intensifies - the unavailability of trade finance is proving a constraint for developing countrie and declines in exports have strong multiplierr effects on all trading economies.
The economic crisis that has descended on the globe will not end quickly. A move toward protectionism would naturally worsen things.