As global trade plunges, nations urged to resist protectionism


One of the world's leading economic advisory organizations is urging governments to avoid protectionism as they grapple with the global recession.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), advisor to 27 high-income countries, announced Tuesday it now expects global trade to decline as much as 13 percent in 2009, but reiterated its call that governments should keep markets open in order to allow economies to reap the benefits of the global recovery when it occurs.

Ken Ash, OECD director for trade and agriculture, said actions to discriminate against foreign goods, services, firms, or workers "could have a devastating effect in terms of prolonging and deepening the recession."