Reinvigorating the WTO - Safeguarding a strong and effective multilateral trading system
- The WTO should remain the main point of reference for governments and businesses in rule-setting and trade disputes. We urge governments to solve the unprecedented crisis in the WTO that puts the benefits of multilateralism in jeopardy.
- The WTO has failed to deliver modern rules that respond to today’s constantly evolving environment. Updating the existing rule book of the WTO, for instance in the area of subsidies, and developing new rules on e-commerce or investment facilitation is essential. We call on WTO members to show the necessary political will and flexibility in order to allow the WTO to deliver tangible results under its negotiating function.
- The WTO is also facing profound institutional challenges, most prominently regarding its Dispute Settlement functioning and the Appellate Body in particular. This is the “crowning jewel” of the WTO, providing the necessary scrutiny on the implementation of rules. WTO members should discuss their concerns openly, involving business, and find effective and long-term solutions to the current stalemate. The proposals of the EU constitute an excellent basis.
- BusinessEurope also recommends an increased and more structured cooperation between the WTO and stakeholders, including the private sector. We consider this process key for the WTO to receive practical, comprehensive and balanced input from those stakeholders that work on trade in their daily operations.