• WTO issues 2020 Annual Report May 28, 2020
    The WTO’s Annual Report, published today (28 May), provides a comprehensive account of the organization’s activities in 2019 and early 2020. The Report opens with a message from Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and a brief overview of the year. This is followed by in-depth accounts of the WTO’s main areas of activity over the past 12 […]
  • 2020 WTO Public Forum cancelled May 28, 2020
    After careful consideration of COVID-19 related uncertainties and health concerns, the WTO has decided to cancel this year’s WTO Public Forum, scheduled for 29 September to 2 October. This decision responds to the complexities around planning to host thousands of people from around the world for a public event under the WTO roof, as well […]
  • DDG Wolff: This is the time to consider the future of the multilateral trading system May 27, 2020
    The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the urgent need to examine the underlying principles and values of the WTO and whether the organization needs change, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said on 27 May. Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Korean International Trade Association, DDG Wolff called for immediate action to control the […]
  • Members discuss impact of COVID-19 on developing economies’ participation in world trade May 26, 2020
    On 26 May, WTO members assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trading capacity of developing countries in a virtual meeting of the Committee on Trade and Development. The new chair, Afghanistan’s WTO Ambassador, Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, said: “Trade must form part of the solution in assisting and supporting recovery in developing countries.”
  • Chair of agriculture negotiations announces he will step down on 30 June May 25, 2020
    At a virtual meeting of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session on 25 May, the Chair of the Committee, Ambassador John Deep Ford (Guyana), informed WTO members that his term as Chair will come to an end on 30 June as he will be leaving Geneva.
  • WTO members highlight COVID-19’s impact on agriculture negotiations May 25, 2020
    At a virtual meeting of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session on 25 May, WTO members shared preliminary views on COVID-19’s impact on the WTO’s agriculture negotiations and discussed how to move forward with these talks. Members reaffirmed the importance of upholding WTO rules during the COVID-19 crisis and stressed the relevance of the […]
  • South Africa launches safeguard investigation on bolts with hexagon heads of iron or steel May 21, 2020
    On 21 May 2020, South Africa notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 15 May 2020 a safeguard investigation on bolts with hexagon heads of iron or steel.
  • WTO report looks at standards and regulations notified by members in COVID-19 response May 20, 2020
    The WTO Secretariat has issued a new information note on the standards‐ and regulation-related policies WTO members have adopted in response to COVID-19 and formally notified to the WTO. Around half of the measures are trade facilitating.
  • WTO establishes nomination window for DG selection May 20, 2020
    WTO members have established a month-long period in which candidates seeking to succeed Roberto Azevêdo as Director-General may submit their nomination bids. General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand informed members on 20 May the appointment process for the next Director-General would formally commence on 8 June with nominations accepted from that date until […]
  • Chancellor Merkel, DG Azevêdo and other agency heads discuss COVID-19 pandemic May 20, 2020
    WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo took part in a virtual meeting hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 20 May to look at the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the international policy response. The heads of the ILO, IMF, OECD and the World Bank also attended the gathering.