G20 nations agree to reform WTO

Industry News | 4 December 2018

Reforms to the WTO could be forthcoming after the G20 agreed it is not fit for purpose.


Member nations of the G20 have agreed that reforms to the World Trade Organization (WTO) are necessary, according a communiqué released at the end of their summit in Argentina.

An EU official said at the close of the two-day meeting that the governing body has issues that require amelioration and that member nations are in support of carrying this out.

"The system is currently falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement. We, therefore, support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning. We will review progress at our next summit," the statement said.

It went on to say that trade is "beneficial for utility, innovation, growth and employment" and reiterated that the multilateral system is a framework to which all members remain committed.

The WTO has come under heavy criticism in recent months, notably from the US. President Trump has accused it of having outdated and dysfunctional rules, particularly with regard to regulating global trade disputes.

Meanwhile, WTO head Robert Azevedo told the BBC that global free trade and the WTO are facing their worst crisis since 1947 and called the challenging of WTO principles "very serious".