By Emma Forge
GENEVA (Reuters) – US Trade Representative Katherine Toy on Thursday reaffirmed the Biden government’s commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying reforms are possible as the organization prepares for a major ministerial conference next month.
The 25-year-old global trade body is battling questions about its relevance, and WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is under pressure to make swift reforms at the November 30 meeting and conclude its first multilateral trade agreement in several years. 3rd
“Biden-Harris hopes the government can be a good force in promoting trade and WTO-healthy competition and facing global challenges,” he said in a speech in Geneva this Thursday. Switzerland is the headquarters of the World Trade Organization.
“We all realize the importance of the WTO and we all want it to succeed.”
But Toy reiterated US criticism of the WTO’s appeals system, saying the dispute resolution panel had become “case-like” and he was “long, expensive and controversial.”
He was very optimistic about the WTO negotiations, saying that the reform could succeed, adding that “if we create a more flexible WTO and change the way we deal with problems collectively, we can improve transparency and integration and restore the advisory function of the organization.”
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