Friday, June 17, 2022

WTO reaches last-minute deal

The 164 nations negotiating thorny issues have reached a last-minute deal for the World Trade Organization.

It includes a commitment to allow food exports for humanitarian aid and to facilitate trade in food and agriculture inputs.

The thornier issues were on fishing quotas and intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccine production. Deals were reached on both of those.

But an impasse remains in the disputes-settling system because the United States continues to block appointment of people to sit in judgement on the appeals court.

Fourteen Canadian farm organizations, including the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Pork Council, joined like-minded farm organizations from many other countries to urge the negotiators to strengthen and improve the World Trade Organization.

The issue on allowing food exports speaks to moves by some countries to try to preserve food for domestic consumption.