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Canada-led Ottawa Group meets on WTO reform

Sunday, August 02, 2020 10:45 AM | Anonymous

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, concluded a successful Canada-led Ottawa Group meeting in June 2020 on strengthening rules-based trade and keeping supply chains open amid COVID-19 and beyond.

Canada, along with the other 12 Ottawa Group members, endorsed concrete steps contained in the Joint Statement of the Ottawa Group: Focusing Action on COVID-19. This statement establishes key actions for member countries to support an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient global recovery for Canadians.

Reiterating the importance of the multilateral, rules-based trading system underpinned by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also participated in the virtual meeting of the Ottawa Group on WTO reform in the context of COVID-19.

Canada and the Ottawa Group have continued to provide leadership, critical thinking and analysis, as well as concrete ideas and proposals, on actions that could be undertaken on the global stage to lessen the economic impacts of COVID-19 on people around the world, and ensure more resilience when dealing with future crises.

Key actions from the joint statement include greater transparency on export restrictions, predictable and open trade in agriculture, and advancing negotiations on e-commerce. The measures ensure the stability of trade for businesses, workers and people during the pandemic by supporting the movement of goods and services people rely on. It also lays the groundwork for a potential new WTO initiative making it possible for medical supplies to flow more easily.

Canada and the Ottawa Group remain committed to the broader WTO reform agenda, including efforts toward a long-lasting solution for dispute settlement and conclusion of negotiations on harmful fisheries subsidies.

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