The EU is hoping to push forward with proposals that would see the World Trade Organization agree to undergo fundamental reforms when the group of the world’s 20 leading nations meet in Argentina for the G20 Summit on November 30-December 1.
European Council President Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, are heading to Buenos Aires at a time of escalating trade disputes between the United States and China.
The world’s two biggest economies are currently locked in a bitter tit-for-tat row over forced technology transfer,s intellectual property rights, and state subsidies. The EU, Canada, and Japan are also embroiled in a war of words with the US after the isolationist policies of the Donald J. Trump administration imposed unilateral tariffs on steel and aluminium products.
Trump is refusing to endorse new judges for the WTO’s tribunal at a time when a lack of judicial oversight will make it impossible to settle international trade disputes – a policy that Trump has backed in the past.
In a letter to the leaders of EU countries, both Tusk and Juncker admit that the outlook for global trade is bleak. Each of the two said they would instead focus on coordinated multilateral cooperation.
The EU is proposing a comprehensive overhaul of the WTO’s negotiating process, as well as its methods for monitoring and settling disputes. Brussels hopes to have enough backing that it will start in motion a debate to have the reform process finalised by the next G20 Summit in Japan, scheduled for June of next year.