Channel 1 Los Angeles
As countries face a rise in COVID-19 cases, it is essential that governments minimize disruptions to trade flows in essential medical supplies. Today, members of the Ottawa Group took important steps toward a proposed WTO Trade and Health Initiative, which identifies short-term actions to streghten supply chains and ensure the free flow of medicines and medical supplies.
Canada remains committed to leading the charge on broader WTO reform with the Ottawa Group, where ministers today had a productive discussion on efforts to modernize the WTO. They agreed to continue intensifying work on e-commerce and fisheries negotiations, as well as keeping agri-food markets open and predictable. Ministers also noted the importance of deepening discussions on trade and environmental sustainability at the WTO.
Ottawa Group members also discussed the Singapore-led proposal to prohibit the use of export restrictions on food purchased for non-commercial humanitarian purposes by the World Food Programme to ensure food security for the world’s most vulnerable people. Ottawa Group members agreed to encourage the adoption of this proposal by the wider WTO membership at the upcoming December General Council meeting.
Canada will continue to take a leadership role in modernizing the WTO so that Canadian businesses and workers alike benefit from global trade.