November 24, 2021
Crapo and Brady describe WTO reform priorities to ‘revitalize the rules-based trading system’
Washington DC– With world trade at a crossroads, the Senate Committee of Republican Chief Financial Officer Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and the Parliamentary Ways and Means Committee, Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-Texas) representative have writes to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, calling for States to show leadership in pushing for strong results in World Trade Organization (WTO) reform at the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference.
The letter sets out five key priorities:
- “First, we need to show that the negotiating function of the WTO can lead to important trade deals, including by insisting on a high level fisheries subsidy deal. ” but we “should not accept a deal at all costs, including one that allows countries to inappropriately claim special and differential treatment or allows unreasonable standstill periods.
- “Second, we must seize the opportunities to promote digital trade”, in particular by seeking ambitious results on the negotiations on electronic commerce, corn“we must oppose… allowing the moratorium on tariffs on electronic transmissions to expire.
- “Third, we need to show that trade rules support rather than harm public health, including in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” including addressing trade restrictions that create bottlenecks in the manufacturing or supply chain for critical medical or pharmaceutical products, but “we must not … give up our intellectual property (IP) rights for COVID-19 vaccines under the WTO TRIPS Agreement. ”
- “Fourth, we need to work on strengthening disciplines to tackle subsidies and abusive practices by non-market economies, a position that enjoys broad bipartisan support. ” but we shouldn’t “divert attention from this goal by joining the draft ministerial declaration on fossil fuel subsidies. “
- “Finally, we must work on dispute settlement reform to ensure that the United States and other WTO Members can enforce their rights, quickly enough to ensure that those rights can be fully defended. “
CLICK HERE to read the full letter.