Summary of General Council meeting of 7 May 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 3 May Informal TNC and HODs meetings. At that meeting, 47 delegations spoke. 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/74.
2. Implementation of the Bali, Nairobi and Buenos Aires Outcomes – Statement by the Chairman
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/216. Benin (African Group), Chad (LDCs), and Angola spoke.
3. Work Programme on Small Economies – Report by the Chairman of the Dedicated Session of the Committee on Trade and Development
DDG Agah, on behalf of the CTD Chair, reported that at the recent Dedicated Session, the SVE Group presented an outcome document (WT/GC/W/772) which provided a background of the work undertaken in accordance with the MC11 mandate. The CTD also discussed in the dedicated session trade and natural disasters and commodities trade. Guatemala (SVEs), Trinidad and Tobago, and Sri Lanka spoke.
4. Informal Process on Appellate Body Matters – Statement by the Chairman
The General Council 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/217. Chinese Taipei (WT/GC/W/763/Rev.1); Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (WT/GC/W/767/Rev.1); Japan, Australia and Chile (WT/GC/W/768/Rev.1); and Thailand (WT/GC/W/769) introduced their communications in this area. Republic of Korea; European Union; Mexico; Canada; Switzerland; Ukraine; Singapore; Colombia; Nigeria; Jamaica (ACP); Philippines; Argentina; Benin; Guyana; India; Egypt; China; Chad (LDCs); Malaysia; Peru; Indonesia; Viet Nam; Plurinational State of Bolivia; Turkey; Honduras and United States spoke. At the end of the discussion, the Chair said that Members needed to continue exploring possible compromise solutions ahead of the next General Council meeting in July and appealed to all delegations to engage in that conversation.
5. European Union – Safeguard Measures on Indica Rice from Cambodia – Request from Cambodia
Cambodia made a statement on this matter. European Union; Thailand; Chad (LDCs); Myanmar; Yemen; Afghanistan; China and Benin spoke.
6. 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. Paraguay; Chad (LDCs); South Africa; Brazil; Japan; European Union; China; India; Australia; Argentina; Pakistan and Egypt spoke. The United States; China and South Africa intervened again thereafter.
7. Pursuing the Development Dimension in WTO Rule-Making Efforts – Communication from Norway
Norway; Iceland; New Zealand; Switzerland; Canada; Mexico and Hong Kong, China introduced their communication in WT/GC/W/770. Turkey; Afghanistan; Uruguay; Thailand (ASEAN); Jamaica (ACP); China; Malaysia; India; Chad (LDCs); Egypt; Colombia; Barbados; Ecuador; Benin (African Group); Japan; South Africa; European Union; Nigeria; Indonesia and United States spoke. Norway again intervened thereafter.
8. SPS Agriculture Issues – Statement by Canada
Canada made a statement on SPS Agriculture Issues including on its Canola Trade with China. China spoke.
9. Trade Restrictive Measures by Brazil – Statement by Ecuador
Ecuador made a statement on market access in Brazil for Ecuador's bananas. Brazil spoke.
10. Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration – Report on the Meeting of March 2019
The General Council approved the Budget Committee's specific recommendation in paragraph 9.7 of WT/BFA/178 and adopted the report.
After taking up all items under the agenda, Honourable Bradley Felix, Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs of St. Lucia, addressed the General Council. Under "Other Business", St. Vincent and the Grenadines (OECS) made a statement on the Geneva Week which was supported by Dominica and Grenada; and the Chair made a statement on administrative matters for MC12 and on Members and Observers in arrears.