Posted by AFP
Date: 12:17 PM, September 15
Canada is working on a World Trade Organization (WTO) reform project that President Donald Trump has accused of allowing "unfair" business practices and an international meeting in Ottawa in October on the issue, Canadian sources said Friday.
Trump threatened last month to quit the WTO, which decides trade disputes "unless it develops itself."
He had previously criticized the Organization's dispute settlement system as unfavorable to the United States, although the Court often ruled in favor of Washington in its proceedings before it.
"We are aware of the challenges within the WTO, and we believe it is necessary to find ways to do the necessary work to push forward the reforms," said Jim Carr, the spokesman for the International Trade Diversification Agency.
"This work has begun," he said, stressing that "the WTO can face some of its historic challenges and make progress."
"A small group of trade ministers with the same ideas" will meet in Ottawa on 24 and 25 October to "identify concrete ways to improve the WTO in the short and medium term," a Canadian government source told AFP on condition of anonymity. And long ". "Preparations are under way."
Australia, Brazil, Chile, the European Union, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland will be part of the working group to meet in the Canadian capital, the source said.
But a European diplomatic source told AFP that "the meeting was not confirmed because there is currently a G20 ministerial meeting on trade, and Canada is investigating whether it has full support" to lead the reform process of the WTO.
At their Friday meeting in Argentina, G20 trade and investment ministers acknowledged "the urgent need to discuss current events in global trade and ways to improve the WTO to meet current and future challenges," a statement said.
In July, Trump got a commitment from visiting European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to work together to make adjustments to the WTO to respond to some of the president's complaints about China regarding the theft of US technology and the practices of state-owned enterprises and excessive steel production.
Trump complained in April on Twitter that the World Trade Organization considered China a developing country despite its economic strength.
"So they get advantages, especially at the expense of the United States," he said, adding that "the WTO is unfair to the United States."
"The need to strengthen the WTO and make it more effective in addressing current trade challenges," said Roberto Azivido, director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macaron.