News

DDG Wolff: This is the time to consider the future of the multilateral trading system

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the urgent need to examine the underlying principles and values of the WTO and whether the organization needs change, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said on 27 May. Speaking at a webinar hosted b…

Members discuss impact of COVID-19 on developing economies’ participation in world trade

On 26 May, WTO members assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trading capacity of developing countries in a virtual meeting of the Committee on Trade and Development. The new chair, Afghanistan’s WTO Ambassador, Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, said…

Chair of agriculture negotiations announces he will step down on 30 June

At a virtual meeting of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session on 25 May, the Chair of the Committee, Ambassador John Deep Ford (Guyana), informed WTO members that his term as Chair will come to an end on 30 June as he will be leaving Geneva.

FAO Director-General says the fight against Desert Locusts will take time, despite significant control gains

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, has warned that efforts to control Desert Locusts will take some time as swarms are now threatening the Sahel region as well as East Africa, Yemen an…

South Africa launches safeguard investigation on bolts with hexagon heads of iron or steel

On 21 May 2020, South Africa notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 15 May 2020 a safeguard investigation on bolts with hexagon heads of iron or steel.

First International Tea Day sees call for joint action to ensure sustainability of tea sector

FAO today marked International Tea Day by stressing the crucial need to ensure the sustainability of tea production – a basis for the livelihoods of millions of farmers – especially at a time when the world economy enters a recession and incomes decli…

Chancellor Merkel, DG Azevêdo and other agency heads discuss COVID-19 pandemic

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo took part in a virtual meeting hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 20 May to look at the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the international policy response. The heads …

WTO establishes nomination window for DG selection

WTO members have established a month-long period in which candidates seeking to succeed Roberto Azevêdo as Director-General may submit their nomination bids. General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand informed members on 20 May the appointment p…

WTO report looks at standards and regulations notified by members in COVID-19 response

The WTO Secretariat has issued a new information note on the standards­­­­— and regulation-related policies WTO members have adopted in response to COVID-19 and formally notified to the WTO. Around half of the measures are trade facilitating.

WTO goods barometer flashes red as COVID-19 disrupts world trade

The volume of world merchandise trade is likely to fall precipitously in the first half of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the global economy, according to the WTO Goods Trade Barometer released on 20 May. The index currently stands at 87.6, far…