Washington, D.C., 9 January 2019
Mrs. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, met in Washington, D.C. on 9 January 2019.
The Ministers advanced discussions on their shared objective to address non market-oriented policies and practices of third countries that lead to severe overcapacity, create unfair competitive conditions for their workers and businesses, hinder the development and use of innovative technologies, and undermine the proper functioning of international trade, including where existing rules are not effective.
They reiterated their concerns, reviewed ongoing work, and agreed to deepen their cooperation in all areas covered by the Ministerial Statements issued in New York and Paris, including nonmarket policies and practices, market-oriented conditions, industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfer policies and practices, WTO reform and digital trade and e-commerce.
In today's meeting, the Ministers discussed in particular:
On concerns with non-market oriented policies and practices, Ministers took stock of the intensification of the exchange of information between them, the identification of additional criteria indicating market-oriented conditions, and confirmed that market-oriented conditions are fundamental to a fair, mutually advantageous global trading system and that their citizens and businesses operate under market-oriented conditions. The Ministers also confirmed their commitment to continue working together to maintain the effectiveness of existing WTO disciplines, including through ongoing WTO disputes.
On industrial subsidies, Ministers instructed their staff to finalize trilateral text-based work in this area by spring in order to engage other key WTO Members after that, as appropriate.
In the area of forced technology transfers, Ministers confirmed their agreement to cooperate on enforcement, on the development of new rules, on investment review for national security purposes and on export controls and further take stock of this cooperation by spring.
On the reform of the WTO, the three partners submitted a joint transparency and notification proposal to the Council for Trade in Goods last November with other co-sponsors, and the Ministers agreed to intensify engagement with other trading partners to advance this proposal. They confirmed their agreement to work towards strengthening the regular committees' activities. They also reiterated their call on advanced WTO Members claiming developing country status to undertake full commitments in ongoing and future WTO negotiations.
The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of cooperating in facilitating digital trade and the growth of the digital economy and to enhance business environments through the promotion of data security. The Ministers confirmed their support for the timely initiation of WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce that seek to achieve a high standard agreement with the participation of as many WTO members as possible.
The Ministers look forward to further cooperation for the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and the Digital Economy under the Japanese G20 Presidency.