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G20 pushes for reforms in WTO

While the US has threatened to pull out of the WTO, China has called for WTO reform to make the global trade system fairer and more effective. The 23-year-old trading club is run on the basis of consensus, meaning that every one of its 164 members has an effective veto and it is almost impossible to get agreement on any change to the rules. G20 countries want to improve the World Trade Organization.

The European Union (EU) and Britain plan to put forward a joint proposal for reform of the terms of their World Trade Organization (WTO) membership in September or October. The two sides are also discussing sharing liabilities from trade disputes including WTO litigation over Airbus subsidies in a long-running case with the United States.

The joint approach would address aspects of the EU's WTO membership terms, known as its WTO schedules that are not easily split between Britain and the other 27 EU members: agricultural tariff quotas, agricultural subsidies and commitments on services trade. The plan is they would explain together how they would see the disentanglement of the United Kingdom from the EU commitments and schedules.

The joint approach would also deal with Britain’s wish to join the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement, which liberalises access to procurement markets between signatories.