GENEVA – This week, U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization, Ambassador Maria Pagán, represented the United States in discussions convened by the General Council Chair as part of the preparations for the upcoming 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13). In these discussions, Ambassador Pagán noted the importance of ministerial acknowledgement of the extensive work that has been carried out in response to taskings from the 12th Ministerial Conference, in particular, the “reform by doing” improvements across WTO committees as presented in the summary documents JOB/GC/359 and G/L/1523 (available on the WTO website).
On January 16 - 17, the U.S. delegation, including capital-based officials, participated in the meeting of the Committee on Agriculture Special Session where delegates discussed Members' new and revised proposals as potential outcomes for MC13. The U.S. delegation reiterated that, "The United States remains willing to engage on public stockholding for food security, but this can only be done in the context of broader domestic support negotiations, and these must be done in the context of broader agriculture negotiations where the overall outcome is in the direction of reform." In total, the U.S. delegation participated in 14 meetings covering agricultural issues this week.
The U.S. delegation participated in various meetings throughout the week as part of the WTO's "fish month" to reach agreement on a text to discipline harmful fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.
The U.S. delegation participated in a meeting of the Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade (DDP) to discuss a potential draft MC13 ministerial statement. The United States is a co-sponsor of the DDP.
The U.S. delegation participated in small group consultations with other WTO Members to discuss a range of proposals from the G-90 Group of developing countries regarding the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) agreements. The delegation also met with others to continue ongoing discussions on least-developed countries (LDC) related proposals. The delegation consulted with the Chair of the TBT Committee to discuss ongoing committee work on conformity assessment procedures. The delegation also participated in eight bilateral meetings to discuss issues related to development and inclusiveness.
The U.S. delegation participated in an informal meeting of the Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures to hear a factual presentation by the Secretariat on the SCM Agreement.
The U. S. delegation participated in more than 10 meetings on dispute settlement reform with WTO Members in various configurations and in informal meetings of the e-commerce work programme and the joint statement initiative on e-commerce.
The U.S. delegation comprises Washington and Geneva based officials and is supported in its work in Geneva by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington, D.C. and a range of other U.S. agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and Department of the Treasury. The delegation engaged in 27 additional bilateral and plurilateral meetings during the week across a wide range of issues.