EU calls for ambition ahead of WTO Ministerial Conference

Ahead of the upcoming ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to be held in Buenos Aires between 10 and 13 December 2017, the EU called upon its partners for more ambition. Meeting her WTO counterparts in Marrakesh, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “The time for ambition is now. The multilateral forum remains the best way to deal with international trade issues and the EU continues to strongly support the work of the WTO. If we want to have a positive outcome in Buenos Aires in December, then we need to focus and pick up the pace. The EU has put forward several proposals on critical issues that today’s trade policy must address. We hope and expect that other WTO members will engage constructively.” Members of the Cairns group (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, New Zealand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam) have joined the EU in reaffirming their commitment to tackling the most trade distorting domestic support in agriculture in a joint statement issued to that effect yesterday. Ahead of the Buenos Aires Ministerial Conference, the EU leads the way on six specific proposals: a proposal related to agriculture subsidies aiming a to improve a global level-playing field for farmers, proposals on horizontal and fisheries-specific subsidies, on regulations related to trade in services and e-commerce, and on transparency. More information on EU proposals is available on the Commission website.