ActualitateMagna Europa

Consiliul a discutat despre reforma OMC

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Miniștrii comerțului s-au axat pe cele mai recente evoluții din cadrul discuțiilor privind reforma Organizației Mondiale a Comerțului (OMC). Aceștia au analizat trei elemente principale ale negocierilor în curs: reglementarea, monitorizarea și soluționarea litigiilor de către OMC. De asemenea, au discutat despre relațiile comerciale cu SUA și China.

Foreign Affairs Council (Trade), 21 noiembrie 2019

Main results

Modernisation of the World Trade Organization

The Council discussed the state of play of negotiations in the World Trade Organization, and progress in its reform process.

The Commission briefed ministers on its latest initiatives to promote a EU comprehensive approach towards the modernisation of all the main functions of the WTO: rulemaking, monitoring and dispute settlement. Particular emphasis was put on the need to find operational solutions to prevent the paralysis of the dispute settlement system once the mandate of one of the three remaining Appellate Body judges expires on 11 December 2019 and the court is no longer able to operate.

A well-functioning dispute settlement system is key to the effectiveness, relevance and credibility of the WTO as a whole. Its importance cannot be overestimated and its reform is key to a successful multilateral system. We are committed to tackling the root causes of the discontent around the existing system and putting forward solutions that address both short-term and longer-term difficulties.

Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland

The Commission also provided the Council with a state of play report on the preparations for the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) that will take place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in June 2020, and its possible deliverables.

Member states were generally supportive of an ambitious outcome for the MC 12, restating the importance of the multilateral process and of allowing for concrete results both through plurilateral and multilateral negotiations.  Priority issues for the EU include, among others,  fisheries subsidies, dispute settlement, industrial subsidies and e-commerce.

EU-US trade relations

The Council took stock of the latest developments regarding trade relations between the EU and the United States.

Ministers highlighted their support for the current strategy of maintaining or even broadening the scope of a positive trade agenda with the US, on the basis of the agreement reached by Presidents Juncker and Trump on 25 July 2018, while defending the basic tenets of the multilateral system.

The Commission presented the most recent developments concerning the different strands of bilateral relations with the US, including:

  • negotiations on conformity assessment and the elimination of tariffs for industrial goods
  • potential imposition of US restrictive measures (so-called “section 232” tariffs) on automotive imports from the EU and
  • follow-up to WTO Airbus/Boeing disputes

Ministers also touched on the wider trade context and discussed recent developments in US-China and US-Japan relations in view of their impact on EU interests and the wider global economy.

Implementation of trade agreements

The Council held a policy debate on the implementation of trade agreements on the basis of a Commission report.

The report highlights that European companies have continued to make good use of the opportunities created by the EU’s trade network. Overall, trade accounts for 35% of the EU’s gross domestic product, while over 36 million jobs are supported by exports to outside the EU. The EU recorded a surplus of €84.6 billion in trade in goods with its trade agreement partners, compared to its overall trade deficit with the rest of the world of about €24.6 billion.

During the discussion, ministers stressed the importance of ensuring the effective implementation of trade agreements in order that EU companies and citizens can fully benefit from them. In this regard ministers also highlighted the importance of a close cooperation and good communication between the Commission, member states, private companies and stakeholders.

The Council was also informed about the latest Eurobarometer survey on trade and the issue of responsible business conduct.

Over lunch, ministers discussed trade relations with China. The Commission also provided an overview of other ongoing trade negotiations.


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