The meeting of 13 countries and organizations to discuss the reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ended today in Ottawa with a road map with three points to advance the talks in the coming months.
The group of countries committed to meet again in January 2019 to review the progress made.
The meeting, in which the United States did not participate, was attended by representatives from Australia, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and the European Union, as well as the host, Canada.
In a final communiqué, the 13 participants noted their "clear and strong support for the rules-based multilateral trading system" while underlining "the indispensable role that the WTO plays" to ensure international trade.
These 13 "similarly minded" WTO members, as defined by Canada, also expressed concern over "increased protectionism" and growing trade tensions that are "linked to major changes in the global trade landscape."
The group established a road map based on the unlocking of the WTO dispute resolution system that is currently paralyzed by the slowness of the United States to appoint the members of the Appellate Body of the organization.
The roadmap also points out the need to "invigorate" the WTO's negotiating role and strengthen the control and transparency of the trade policies of the member states.