Tag Archives: WTO

Press Release: Norway endorses joint ministerial statement on Covid-19 and the multilateral trading system

On 5 May, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide and 41 other ministers responsible for the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a ministerial statement on Covid-19 and the multilateral trading system. The statement is an important supplement to a joint statement issued by the Alliance for Multilateralism in April, and endorsed by Norway, on the need for cooperation and solidarity in the fight against Covid-19.

‘I am pleased that we have succeeded in securing support for this statement from a large group of WTO members. A predictable, transparent, non-discriminatory and open global trading system will be essential for broad-based and sustainable economic recovery once the crisis is over,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said. 

In the statement, the 42 ministers reaffirm their strong support for the multilateral trading system and the central role of the WTO. The WTO is not the primary organisation for addressing the health-related aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but WTO rules have an important role to play in ensuring the continued flow of goods and services across national borders. In the statement, the ministers stress that the trade restrictive emergency measures that have been introduced to protect people’s health must not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains. Any such measures must be consistent with WTO rules, and the ministers pledge to lift them as soon as possible. The ministers also pledge not to impose export restrictions on food products in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Important priorities for Norway, such as transparency on trade-related measures that are introduced as part of the effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for a coordinated international response, are reflected in the statement. The statement also expresses support for the full resumption of all WTO activities as soon as feasible.

‘The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how dependent we are on cross-border trade and on everyone following the established rules, so that we have access to essential goods even in times of crisis. International trade is vital if we are to get through this crisis – for the Norwegian economy, Norwegian jobs and the Norwegian health system,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.

Read full statement HERE.

US Chamber Statement on Impasse at World Trade Organization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 10, 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. — US Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant issued the following statement on the impasse that will cause the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to cease to function this week:

“Despite a number of challenges, the WTO and the global rules-based trading system it embodies are successful institutions that benefit the entire world. The increase in trade from the WTO agreements has raised living standards, boosted innovation, and stimulated economic growth in the US and around the globe.

The Trump Administration, like its predecessors, has called attention to problems with the functioning of the WTO’s Appellate Body, which plays a key role in trade disputes. These are serious issues. However, the shuttering of the Appellate Body caused by the block placed on the appointment of new members does not serve the interests of the US business community.

“The Chamber urges all parties to redouble their efforts to address the important issues the U.S. has raised regarding the functioning of the Appellate Body. The goal must be to revive it in a more responsive and focused form in keeping with the objectives established by the US and other members when the WTO was created nearly three decades ago.

“If the WTO didn’t exist, we’d have to create it. Its rules protect US firms from unfair treatment and hidden protectionism every day. Safeguarding this institution and its dispute settlement system should be an urgent national and international priority.”

Regjeringen: Første høring i Norges WTO-sak mot USA om stål og aluminium

Et tvisteløsningspanel i WTO starter i dag første høringsmøte i stål- og aluminiumssaken mot USA.

Norge innledet i juni 2018 tvistesak mot USA om tilleggstoll på visse stål- og aluminiumsprodukter i Verdens handelsorganisasjon (WTO). Vi mener tilleggstollen er i strid med WTO-regelverket.

WTOs tvisteløsningsorgan opprettet i november 2018 et panel som skal vurdere saken, og i dag starter panelets første høringsmøte med partene. Det er satt av to dager til høringen. I tillegg til Norge, har seks andre medklagere i disse dager høring i sin tvistesak mot USA om de samme tiltakene. Norges høring er den tredje i rekken av disse syv tvistesakene.

Les hele saken HER.