A rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, is essential to achieving a strong, sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, concluded a successful visit to Paris, France, where she chaired the Canada-led Ottawa Group on WTO Reform, and attended an informal meeting of WTO ministers, hosted by Australia. Citing cooperation between WTO members as key to success at the upcoming WTO 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), Minister Ng highlighted the importance of concluding an agreement on fisheries subsidies, achieving a multilateral declaration on trade and health, an outcome on agriculture domestic support, concluding the Joint Statement Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation, and refocusing efforts on WTO reform.
At the Ottawa Group meeting, Minister Ng led discussions on the importance of a trade and health outcome at MC12. Minister Ng noted the significant work the group has undertaken to reach out to dozens of WTO members to ensure that taking action on trade and health is a priority at MC12.
The Ottawa Group also discussed how the group could advance other emerging issues at the WTO after MC12. Minister Ng emphasized the importance of restoring a fully functioning dispute settlement system and advancing progress on trade and environment and trade and gender.