Summary of General Council meeting of 23-24 July 2019
1. Report by the Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee and Report by the Director-General
The Chair referred to the Director-General's report at the 19 July Informal TNC and HODs meetings. At that meeting, some 50 interventions were made. The Director-General's statement and the Oral Reports by the Chairs of the Bodies established by the TNC can be found in JOB/TNC/75.
2. Implementation of the Bali, Nairobi and Buenos Aires Outcomes — Statement by the Chair
The Chair reported on the work taking place in WTO regular bodies to fulfil the Bali, Nairobi and Buenos Aires Ministerial mandates. Her full statement can be found in JOB/GC/219. Benin (African Group) and Chad (LDCs) took the floor to reiterate the importance of ensuring full and effective implementation and operationalization of all Ministerial decisions.
3. Aid for Trade — Report by the Director-General on the Global Review 2019
In his report, the Director-General noted that the event was the largest one since the launch of the initiative. The issues covered in the review centred on the theme of “Supporting Economic Diversification and Empowerment” and also included other topics such as LDC graduation, trade and peace, standards, sustainability, tourism and e-commerce, among others. Chad (LDCs), China, Morocco, Canada, European Union, Ecuador, Cambodia, Benin (African Group), Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria spoke.
4. Work Programme on Small Economies — Report by the Chairman of the Dedicated Session of the Committee on Trade and Development
The CTD Chair reported that the SVE Group was working on possible topics for future debate which would be proposed in a meeting of the Dedicated Session after the summer break with the view to making recommendations at MC12. Guatemala (SVEs) and Trinidad and Tobago (CARICOM) spoke.
5. Informal Process on Appellate Body Matters — Statement by the Chair
The Chair made a statement on this matter. Ambassador Walker (New Zealand), the Facilitator of the Informal Process, then reported on the developments in this regard. His report can be found in JOB/GC/220. Benin (African Group), Nigeria and South Africa also introduced their communication in WT/GC/W/776. Chile; Pakistan; Norway; Turkey; South Africa; Thailand; Colombia; India; Japan; Ecuador; China; Australia; Singapore; Canada; European Union; Brazil; Russian Federation; Philippines; Switzerland; Jamaica (ACP); United States; Costa Rica; Indonesia; Uruguay (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay); Guyana; Qatar; Zambia; Mexico; Egypt and Uganda spoke. China then made another intervention. At the end of the discussion, the Chair said that Members would need to decide on the format and vehicle for the next stage of the informal process in the second half of the year. She asked Ambassador Walker, as Facilitator, to continue consulting with delegations on this very important matter immediately after the summer break.
6. Work Programme on Electronic Commerce — Review of Progress
The Chairs of the CTS, CTG and CTD reported on developments under the work programme on e-commerce since the last periodic review in December. There had been no appetite among delegations to discuss the work programme in the TRIPS Council since 2018. The Chair would conduct consultations on the moratorium after the summer break. Her full statement can be found in WT/GC/W/780. India; Chad (LDCs); European Union; Russian Federation; South Africa; Uganda; United States; Hong Kong, China; Benin; Singapore; Costa Rica; Switzerland and Norway spoke.
7. Procedural Guidelines for WTO Councils and Committees addressing Trade Concerns — Communication from Australia; European Union; Hong Kong, China; Republic of Korea; New Zealand; Norway; Panama; Singapore; Switzerland and Turkey
The European Union; Ukraine; Australia; Turkey; New Zealand; Chinese Taipei; Switzerland; Norway; Singapore; Panama; Republic of Korea and Hong Kong, China presented their communication in document WT/GC/W/777/Rev.1. Thailand; Mexico; Republic of Moldova; Russian Federation; United States; Uruguay; Chad (LDCs); Argentina; Dominican Republic; Canada; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka; China; South Africa; Brazil; Japan; Paraguay; Chile; Ecuador; Nigeria; India; Egypt; Indonesia and Colombia spoke. The European Union then made another intervention.
8. Strengthening the WTO to Promote Development and Inclusivity — Communication from Plurinational State Of Bolivia; Cuba; Ecuador; India; Malawi; South Africa; Tunisia; Uganda and Zimbabwe
India; Zimbabwe; Uganda; Plurinational State of Bolivia; Oman; South Africa and Ecuador presented their communication in document WT/GC/W/778/Rev.1. Benin; China; Chad (LDCs); Pakistan; United States; Bangladesh; Jamaica (ACP); Sri Lanka; European Union; Egypt; Nigeria; Canada; Morocco; Norway; Indonesia; Turkey; Guyana and Afghanistan spoke. South Africa and India then made another intervention.
9. An Inclusive Approach to Transparency and Notification Requirements in the WTO — Communication from the African Group; Cuba and India
South Africa; India; Oman; Nigeria; Egypt; Benin (African Group) and Uganda presented their communication in document JOB/GC/218/Rev.1. Chad (LDCs); Costa Rica; Switzerland; Jamaica (ACP); Uruguay; European Union; Bangladesh; United States; Japan; China; Norway; Canada; Thailand; Argentina; Sri Lanka; Indonesia; Pakistan; Turkey; Chile; Mexico; Chinese Taipei and Plurinational State of Bolivia spoke. South Africa (African Group) then made another intervention.
10. Procedures to Strengthen the Negotiating Function of the WTO — Communications from the United States
The United States put forward again its communications on this matter in documents WT/GC/W/757/Rev.1 and WT/GC/W/764. China; European Union; Chad (LDCs); India; Jamaica; Peru; Uganda; Turkey; Benin (African Group) and South Africa spoke. The United States then made another intervention.
11. Export Restrictive Measures by Japan — Statement by the Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea made a statement on this matter. Japan spoke. Both delegations then made two other interventions. The Chair said that she hoped that a bilateral, amicable solution could be found.
12. Statement by the United States on Transparency in WTO Dispute Settlement
The United States made a statement on this matter. The Russian Federation; Canada; Australia; Japan; Switzerland; Turkey; European Union; South Africa; China; Norway; Peru; Indonesia and India spoke. The United States then made another intervention.
13. Waivers under Article IX of the WTO Agreement
The General Council conducted the review of three multi-year waivers. Trinidad and Tobago (CARICOM); Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; Chad (LDCs); St. Lucia (OECS); the United States and Canada spoke.
14. WTO Pension Plan
The General Council took note of the reports in WT/L/1060 and WT/L/1064 and elected Ms. Kelly K. Milton (United States) as a Member of the WTO Pension Plan Management Board.
Under “Other Business”, Japan made a statement on the G20 Osaka Summit and the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy in Tsukuba (WT/L/1066 and WT/L/1067). Chad (LDCs) made a statement on the waiver concerning the Preferential Tariff Treatment for Least Developed Countries. China made a statement on the United States' trade restrictive measures on ICT industry where the United States made a very brief response. The Chair made a statement on the appointment process for the Chairs of the Negotiating Group on Rules and the CTD SS, on administrative matters for MC12 and on Members and Observers in arrears.