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World Trade Organization — Latest news
  • Items proposed for consideration at the next meeting of Dispute Settlement Body
    The WTO Secretariat has circulated a meeting notice and list of items proposed for the next meeting, on 26 April 2019, of the Dispute Settlement Body, which consists of all WTO members and oversees legal disputes among them. The meeting notice is circulated in the form of a document officially called an “airgram”.

  • WTO issues panel report regarding Chinese tariff rate quotas on agricultural imports
    On 18 April the WTO circulated the panel report in the case brought by the United States in “China — Tariff Rate Quotas for Certain Agricultural Products” (DS517).

  • Mexico Chair participates in workshop on women’s economic empowerment in India
    Mexico’s co-chairholder in the WTO Chairs Programme, Dr Amrita Bahri, presented a research paper entitled “Economic Empowerment of Women: Through International Law and Technology” at a workshop held at the IMS Unison University in India in February.

  • Colombia launches safeguard investigation on sheets of cardboard and polyethylene
    On 16 April 2019, Colombia notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 9 April 2019 a safeguard investigation on certain sheets of cardboard and polyethylene.

  • Report sheds light on impact of digital technologies on global value chains
    Global value chains (GVCs) have regained momentum in recent years, leading to the creation of new jobs and increased prosperity, especially in developing economies, according to a new report co-published by the WTO and five other institutions. New digital technologies, such as robotics and big data, are reshaping GVCs and creating new opportunities for the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises but policymakers will need to ensure the benefits are shared widely.

  • Marrakesh milestone — 25th anniversary of the WTO’s founding agreements
    Twenty-five years ago, on 15 April 1994, representatives from more than 120 nations gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, to sign what was described at the time as the “greatest trade agreement in history”, one which led to the establishment of the WTO and created a new global framework for liberalizing trade in goods and services, protecting intellectual property rights, and easing trade tensions through a new dispute resolution mechanism.

  • Azevêdo urges finance ministers to take coordinated steps to address economic imbalances
    Meeting with finance ministers and Central Bank presidents from around the world at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC on 13 April, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo warned that the global imbalances driving current trade tensions can only be addressed by coordinated action. He cautioned that responding through trade policy measures alone would not solve these imbalances, but would likely make the problem worse.

  • Registration opens for screening of second compliance panel meeting in “EC — Large Civil Aircraft”
    At the request of the parties in the dispute “European Communities and Certain Member States — Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft: Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the European Union and Certain Member States” (DS316), the panel has decided to invite officials of WTO Members and Observers, and the general public, to view a recording of its substantive meeting with the parties and consenting third parties. The public viewing will take place at the WTO headquarters in Geneva on 13 May 2019.

  • WTO’s Trade Policy Review Mechanism turns 30
    The WTO marked on 12 April the 30th anniversary of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM), which over the last three decades has contributed to ensuring and facilitating the smooth functioning of the multilateral trading system by enhancing the transparency of WTO members’ trade policies.

  • DDG Wolff: This is a time of serious risks but even more of major opportunities
    In a speech delivered at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid on 11 April, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said that the world of trade is changing, and the multilateral trade rules and their administration must change with them. “The possibilities for positive results, for far-reaching reforms, must not be lost,” he stressed. “The WTO must adapt to the conditions that exist today and prepare for the future.” This is what he said:

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