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EU trade ministers to discuss the situation at the WTO and free trade agreements

EU2019FIMinistry for Foreign Affairs 30.9.2019 13.21
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Photo: Viivi Myllylä, Prime Minister's Office

Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari has invited the EU trade ministers to an informal lunch meeting in Brussels on 1 October to discuss topical trade policy issues.

The situation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) remains difficult. The WTO’s dispute settlement system will be paralysed at the end of the year, which will undermine the multilateral trading system. According to Minister Skinnari, it is important for the EU to continue its efforts to maintain a multilateral rules-based system and for the WTO’s dispute settlement system to be preserved.

Finland’s Presidency emphasises the implementation of free trade agreements 

The EU and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) were able to reach a political agreement on their free trade deal at the end of June. The meeting will discuss the next steps.

The agreement itself is an important achievement and opens doors to a relatively closed market. We’re still finalising the technical details, but the economic and geopolitical significance of the agreement is already evident at this stage. And I am sure that the situation in Amazon will come up as well.

– Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari

The ministers will also have the opportunity to exchange views on the current situation in EU–US trade relations and to raise other trade policy issues that they consider important.

On the day before the meeting of the trade ministers, Skinnari will attend the Trade for Her conference, which will address the empowerment of women in international trade.

WTO
commercial policy
free trade
trade agreements