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Brady Calls for Serious WTO Reform

October 25, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement laying out serious reforms the World Trade Organization (WTO) should consider as trade representatives from multiple countries are set to meet in Ottawa, Canada:

“I support President Trump’s actions to insist that other WTO members take our longstanding call for reform at the WTO seriously. I am pleased that some of our key trading partners appear to be engaged in serious discussion of the concerns the United States has raised for many years about the need for reform. 

“I strongly support the WTO because strong and enforceable rules are in the U.S. interest.  But the WTO urgently needs reform to keep the organization well-functioning and viable, including with respect to negotiations toward new agreements as well as improving dispute resolution.  Now that many of our key trading partners are focused, it is important that we address the full range of topics and confront longstanding issues. 

“One of the key enforcement reforms I would like to see is to establish meaningful consequences if WTO members continue to ignore their commitments to submit timely notifications as to their compliance with their obligations.  I also agree with President Trump and his predecessors that the Appellate Body must be reformed so that it functions as designed and is accountable to WTO members.  Such reforms include procedural fixes to make sure the Appellate Body does not diverge from the timelines and procedures established by WTO members, as well as structural reforms to avoid troubling Appellate Body overreach and ‘gap-filling’ that go beyond its mandate.  By addressing these issues head on, we can strengthen the WTO’s enforcement tools and reap the benefits of strong rules for American manufacturers, service providers, farmers, and workers.”

Correction: A previous version of this statement incorrectly stated the United States was part of these meetings.