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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 28 May 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”.

  • DG Azevêdo: Business community provides energy and ideas to help progress at WTO
    At a meeting organized in Paris by the Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on 22 May 2019, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo provided an update on the state of play in global trade and on discussions about the reform of the WTO. He welcomed the positive engagement of the business community in recent years, and encouraged businesses to continue to engage and to help drive forward the debate on WTO issues. Noting the WTO’s positive collaboration with business and other stakeholders through the “trade dialogues” initiative, DG Azevêdo welcomed the announcement by the ICC...

  • Trade Policy Review: Trinidad and Tobago
    The fourth review of the trade policies and practices of Trinidad and Tobago takes place on 22 and 24 May 2019. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

  • DG Azevêdo: A system of rules-based trade is essential for growth and development
    In an address to the French National Assembly in Paris on 21 May 2019, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said that the multilateral trading system has proven to be essential for supporting growth and development globally. He acknowledged France’s vocal support for the trading system and stressed the importance of maintaining and strengthening the system so that it can continue to respond effectively to the challenges of today’s world. He concluded: “We have an opportunity to make some essential changes to the trading system. … It is in the interests of everybody that we preserve and strengthen this essential public good.”

  • Trade weakness to extend into second quarter, WTO indicator suggests
    World trade growth is likely to remain weak into the second quarter of 2019 according to the WTO’s latest World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI), released on 20 May. The new WTOI reading is 96.3, exactly as it was in the previous release in February this year, maintaining the weakest level since 2010.

  • DG Azevêdo calls for APEC members’ “continued support” in efforts to improve the WTO
    Addressing via video a meeting of APEC trade ministers in Viña del Mar, Chile on 17 May, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo called on ministers to maintain their support for the trading system during an “extremely challenging” time for global trade. He argued that members have an opportunity to strengthen the trading system, but warned that inaction “would compromise the relevance or even the existence of the system as we know it”. During his message for the session, entitled “Supporting the Multilateral Trading System”, the Director-General also provided an update on the range of discussions and negotiations that are ongoing at the...

  • Workshop on government procurement concludes in Geneva
    Some 50 senior government officials from 42 WTO members and observers discussed government procurement as it relates to trade, good governance and inclusive sustainable development at the 2019 Advanced Global Workshop on Government Procurement held at the WTO from 13 to 17 May.

  • Advanced Global Workshop on Government Procurement
  • Introductory Trade Policy Course for Least Developed Countries concludes in Geneva
    Twenty-nine government officials from 12 WTO members attended the latest Introductory Trade Policy Course for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which took place at WTO headquarters from 29 April to 17 May. The course was closed with remarks from Dr Maarten Smeets, Chief of Technical Assistance Coordination, Partnership & Internship Programmes in the WTO’s Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation.

  • WTO members examine utilization of tariff preferences for LDCs, links to rules of origin
    At a meeting of the Committee on Rules of Origin on 15-16 May, WTO members continued to review the use and application of preferential rules of origin programmes for least-developed countries (LDCs). Members discussed a report from the WTO Secretariat looking at possible links between rules of origin and the low use of tariff preferences for LDC agricultural exports, and heard reports from the LDC Group further examining the issue of change of tariff classification criterion in drafting “substantial transformation” provisions of rules of origin.

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