Marietje Schaake responds to breakthrough in WTO negotiations

The United States and India announced today that they reached an agreement to break the impasse in the World Trade Organisation. The implementation of the so-called Bali-package was held up since December 2013 because a small group of countries, led by India, had expressed concern over the effects on food security. The agreement between India and the US must now also be approved by the other WTO members. Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66), responds. "This breakthrough is important for world trade and for the trust in the World Trade Organisation. According to projections by the OECD, the Bali package can reduce worldwide trade costs with between 13 and 15 per cent, also for less developed countries. The package is therefore of great importance for the EU in times of economic crisis, but also for economic development in other parts of the world." "Partly because of the very slow development of the negotiating process in the WTO, the EU has initiated talks on a number of bilateral trade agreements over the past years, for example with the US, Vietnam and Japan. These bilateral agreements are crucial for the European economy and have the potential to set standards worldwide. However, bilateral negotiations must not replace the multilateral process of the WTO. It remains essential to include as many other countries as possible, especially developing economies, so that we can stimulate trade and economic development on the basis of good rules and agreements." Earlier this week, the US and China reached a breakthrough in the negotiations on the Information Technology Agreement, which is set to lead to tariff reductions on ICT products