Ger­man min­is­ter calls for global ac­cord un­der WTO

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Ger­man Econ­omy Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel yes­ter­day urged a re­sump­tion of longstalled ef­forts to ne­go­ti­ate a global free ac­cord, warn­ing that the pro­lif­er­a­tion of bi­lat­eral trade deals could lead to vary­ing stan­dards and rules. “The best thing would be an agree­ment un­der the aus­pices of the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WTO),” Gabriel said dur­ing a busi­ness con­fer­ence in Hong Kong. “We should restart dis­cus­sions in the WTO even as we are ne­go­ti­at­ing com­pre­hen­sive bi­lat­eral agree­ments.” In the ab­sence of a global trade agree­ment, Gabriel said it was im­por­tant that bi­lat­eral trade deals also in­clude so­cial, cli­mate and con­sumer stan­dards, be­yond sim­ply re­duc­ing tar­iffs. The Ger­man min­is­ter said re­sis­tance to free trade agree­ments such as the one signed last week by the Euro­pean Union and Canada was largely due to in­suf­fi­cient com­mu­ni­ca­tion by gov­ern­ments about the ben­e­fits of such ac­cords and the fail­ure to in­clude cit­i­zens and so­ci­etal groups. — Reuters

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