WTO Ministerial - the agreement keeps alive the multilateral trading system
17 June 2022 - The WTO-World Trade Organisation Ministerial meeting MC12 ended after 5 days of intense negotiations with an agreement that allows to keep the multilateral trading system alive. Although not satisfactory in some areas, in particular intellectual property rights protection, the agreement brings new hope to multilateralism and the ability of the WTO to deliver concrete results.
Commenting on the results, BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "European business strongly supports the multilateral, rules-based trading system. The World Trade Organisation is key to preserve this system as the bedrock of international trade. The 12th WTO Ministerial finished late yesterday evening with an agreement that has shortcomings but allows to keep the multilateral trading system alive.
We applaud the extension of the moratorium to ban duties on electronic transmissions until the next WTO Ministerial, a much-needed outcome for businesses both small and big. We welcome the clear intention of all WTO members to embark on the much-needed reform path including the dispute settlement procedure. But we regret the agreement to waive the protection of intellectual property rights regarding COVID-19 vaccines. This solution does not address the current challenges of access to vaccines and risks undermining efforts to address future pandemics."