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After COVID-19: what is the future of the global trade network?

28 Sep 2021
All Committees

On Tuesday, 21 September, AmCham EU hosted a plenary meeting on trade and external affairs. Ahead of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference and in the context of renewed EU-US cooperation through the Trade and Technology Council, the plenary meeting discussed the role of the EU-US relationship in the future of the WTO and the global trading system.

conference room

The plenary commenced with a panel on the impact of COVID-19 on the global trading system, moderated by Florian Wastl, Director Public Affairs Europe, Mars Incorporated and Vice-Chair of the Trade and External Affairs Committee at AmCham EU. The panel featured representatives from both sides of the Atlantic including Peter Chase, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund; Christina Falcone, Vice-president of Public Affairs, UPS; Erland Herfindahl, Senior Trade Representative, US Mission to the EU and Polina Khomenko, Policy Coordinator, WTO Policy and Negotiations, European Commission. Discussion centred around the need for an ambitious transatlantic vision and the initiatives underway for WTO reform.

The panel was followed by a keynote address delivered by Angela Ellard, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organisation focused on WTO reform and the organisation’s priorities. A stronger EU-US relationship was identified as the key driver to sustain and strengthen the WTO. The 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, taking place in November of this year, was earmarked as an opportunity for the EU and the US to demonstrate their leadership. These include, fisheries subsidies, vaccine distribution equity and internal reforms on issues such as the appellate body and the role of the secretariat.

The plenary demonstrated the vast array of challenges which, with increased cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic, can move towards resolution. The current momentum for transatlantic cooperation should be harnessed in order to achieve tangible results in EU-US international coordination and regulatory cooperation.

AmCham EU has been actively supporting these efforts through the publication of our position paper on emerging areas for EU-US cooperation, our study on rebooting the transatlantic economy and our platform Thriving Together dedicated to exploring the depths of the transatlantic relationship.