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EU calls WTO meeting lost opportunity, with no results

Europe
13.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Buenos Aires (dpa) - The European Union on Wednesday slammed a meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that was about to conclude in Buenos Aires as a "missed occasion."

"The sad truth ... is that we have not even been able to agree to stop subsidies to illegal fishing. This is really outrageous," European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said.

The WTO had also not reached agreement on "any steps" in agricultural reforms, and had not even started discussing new issues such as e-trade, small and medium-sized companies, or increased transparency in services, she added.

"I‘m sad to say there is no outcome at all," she concluded, while adding that the WTO would continue functioning and that there would be "plurilateral engagements" following the meeting.

Malmstroem said the organization would find it difficult to be effective as long as the European Union, the United States, India, China and others were not able to work together.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday accused WTO members of focusing on litigation instead of negotiations and said that some wealthier countries were given unfair advantage by being treated as developing countries.

Lighthizer left the meeting the same day.

WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell said on Tuesday that the meeting might not be able to agree on a joint final statement, because one of the 164 member countries was refusing to sign a document stressing the importance of the multilateral trade system and of development.

The four-day meeting brought about 4,000 delegates to the Argentinian capital.

 

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