World Trade Organization — Latest news
  • DG Azevêdo: We’re in danger of forgetting the lessons from Bretton Woods
    At an event in Washington on 17 October to mark the 75th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Conference, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said the world risks forgetting the key lessons learned from that seminal meeting — the importance of a rules-based system of economic cooperation which has underpinned decades of unprecedented peace and prosperity. His remarks are below:

  • New rules of origin initiative to help firms better utilize trade preferences
    The World Trade Organization is partnering with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and World Customs Organization (WCO) in an initiative which will enable firms to take fuller advantages of benefits under free trade agreements and preferential trade arrangements by helping them comply with product rules of origin requirements.

  • General Council elects Chair for 12th Ministerial Conference
    At a General Council meeting on 16 October, WTO members formally elected Bakhyt Sultanov, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Trade and Integration, as Chair of the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). The Ministerial Conference will take place in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan on 8-11 June 2020.

  • DG Azevêdo: “People recognize things are happening here. They expect concrete outcomes.”
    At a meeting of the full WTO membership on 14 October, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo observed that members had barely two months left to solve the Appellate Body impasse and meet a negotiating deadline on fisheries subsidies. Looking ahead, he said that in order to lay the groundwork for meaningful outcomes at the Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan next June, members would need to bridge substantial differences in a short time frame.

  • Members give US green light to impose countermeasures on EU in aircraft subsidy dispute
    WTO members agreed at a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 14 October to authorize the United States to impose countermeasures on European Union goods and services trade with the US up to a value of USD 7,496.623 million annually. The authorization was granted in line with a WTO arbitrator decision issued on 2 October.

  • Online registration opens for conference to mark 30 years of Trade Policy Review Mechanism
    Online registration is now open for a conference to be held on 27 November 2019 at the WTO to mark the 30th anniversary of the WTO’s Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). The conference will focus on the role of the TPRM in providing enhanced transparency, accountability and monitoring of the multilateral trading system.

  • DDG Wolff: The multilateral trading system will endure and will adapt
    Speaking at a conference on global trade held at Chatham House, London, on 14 October, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said that at a time of slowing global economic growth and political uncertainty the WTO is even more essential, with its rules providing fairness and preventing discrimination. He stressed the importance of discussions aimed at strengthening the WTO and added: “Defending and improving the global trading system is needed now more than ever.” This is what he said:

  • Facilitators consult members on latest fisheries subsidies proposals
    In an informal session of the Trade Negotiations Committee dedicated to fisheries subsidies, facilitators held consultations open to all WTO members on 10-11 October, as part of a week-long cluster of meetings to move the talks on fisheries subsidies forward. During the facilitator-led consultations, delegations reviewed three new submissions from members and also discussed prevailing issues ahead of the end-2019 target to conclude the negotiations.

  • Forum participants look at how statistics can better capture trends in trade
    What is the value of electronic commerce trade, and how much of that is being traded digitally? How can the impact of non-trade barriers be measured? Is trade data increasingly kept behind pay walls? These and other issues were addressed at a Public Forum seminar on 11 October where participants discussed how the WTO and other international organizations can generate statistics that can be useful in identifying and analysing current developments and future trends in global trade.

  • Public Forum reflects on how to adapt to services-based trading future
    At the 2019 WTO Public Forum, many discussions focused on how to adapt to a new trading environment marked by the growing importance of services, the most dynamic component of international trade. The four-day event from 8 to 11 October highlighted the important role services play in increasing productivity, creating jobs, improving living standards, and helping to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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