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G20 international trade ministers to discuss WTO reform

The G-20 international trade and investment ministers will discuss issues related to the reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday.

The Ministers will hold a meeting under the Saudi G20 Presidency on September 22, 2020, to strengthen cooperation on trade and investment policy with inclusive and sustainable economic growth amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministers will discuss the progress made in the “G-20 Actions to support international trade and investment in response to Covid-19” agreed on May 14, 2020.

They will also discuss ways to support the necessary reform of the WTO, to encourage greater international competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to promote economic diversification and strengthen international investment.

Majid Al Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s Trade Minister, and Khaled Al Faleh, Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister, will hold a press conference after the ministerial meeting to present their results.

International Trade

The trade representative of the United States, Robert Lighthizer, said on May 15 that the negotiation of a multilateral reduction of tariffs should be excluded.

“While we are in the middle of the crisis, we caution that we must not embark on new plurilateral tariff reduction negotiations or try to dictate what the future role of the WTO may be in terms of addressing longer-term actions,” said Lighthizer.

“In fact, it seems inappropriate to us to use this crisis, which has been tragic for the world community, to advance other agendas,” he added.

This would be the third time that the G-20 ministers of international trade and investment meet so far this year.

 

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