#WTO reform – participants in Ottawa meeting agree on concrete steps

| October 30, 2018

The 13 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), participating in a ministerial meeting held in Ottawa on 24 and 25 October – including the EU represented by Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström – unequivocally reiterated their commitment to safeguarding the rules-based multilateral system.

In a Joint Communique, the partners agreed to work on solutions to fix the dispute settlement system and resolve the Appellate Body crisis, while preserving its essential features; supported the need to reinvigorate the WTO negotiating function by recognizing the need to move forward in various formats and the necessity to address the realities of today’s economy and in particular market distortions caused by subsidies, reiterated their commitment to concluding the fisheries subsidies negotiations by 2019 and welcomed the work being undertaken under the Joint Statement Initiatives, which are tackling such issues as e-commerce.

Finally, the participants recognized the importance of ensuring effective monitoring and transparency in the WTO, and committed to work on concrete solutions, including engaging constructively on proposals to improve compliance with notification obligations.

The outcome of the ministerial meeting broadly supports the proposals made by the EU in its WTO reform concept paper published on 18 September 2018. The EU will continue to take these proposals forward in different configurations and will work closely with like-minded countries, including those present in at the Ottawa ministerial (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland).

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, European Commission, World Trade Organization (WTO)

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