Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 11:09 UK

G20 members 'blocking free trade'

Cargo being loaded at a Chinese port
Both the US and EU have moved to limit certain Chinese imports

The World Bank has accused the US and European Union (EU) of carrying out or planning protectionist measures, despite a recent pledge not to do so.

Its comments come three weeks after the G20 group of advanced nations agreed further cuts to trade barriers.

Despite that promise, the World Bank has published a list of all the new protectionist measures it has found.

It said Japan, South Korea, Russia, India, Argentina and Brazil were carrying out similar moves.

All these nations are members of the G20, as is the EU, which represents its 27 member states despite the UK, France, Germany and Italy having membership of the G20 in their own right.

The World Bank report was published as it and its sister organisation the International Monetary Fund prepare to hold their spring meetings in Washington.

In the case of the EU, the World Bank report gave four examples of recent protectionist moves, including new duties on Chinese candles, and iron and steel pipes.

Regarding the US, the World Bank found seven new protectionist actions, including limits on Canadian wood, and citric acid from China.

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