World Trade Organization members failed to finalize implementation of a Trade Facilitation Agreement by the Friday deadline, putting in limbo a pact agreed to last December to reduce trade barriers and eliminate border transaction costs and casting a pall over the future of the WTO itself.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Friday, “In Bali, seven months ago, the United States worked closely with World Trade Organization director general Roberto Azevêdo and numerous other WTO members to reach a landmark package of agreements that breathed new life into the WTO. As part of that package, all WTO members agreed to take certain actions to implement the TFA by July 31. That agreement would have reduced trade costs, especially in developing countries, and would have generated hundreds of billions of dollars in much-needed economic activity. The United States regrets that a handful of members have decided not to adhere to their commitment to implement the TFA consistent with the Bali agreement.”
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