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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[AP] WTO talks on global supply chain reveal three strains of thought

Fifteen countries began talks on Thursday relating to the resilience of the global supply chain at a World Trade Organization (WTO) summit that will take place until Sunday.

While most countries acknowledged the disruption of the global supply chain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical conflicts, three strains of initiatives emerged. 

The United States proposed reform within the Appellate Body of the WTO, stating that gaps in enforcement are critical in understanding procedural errors. Global supply chains, according to the US, are no longer only economic, but also political.

China promoted its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) while addressing how to improve the economic conditions of developing countries and lesser developed countries. 

Egypt argued that global trade can only function when there is a rule-based order. The Egyptian representative further stressed the importance of discussing the agriculture supply chain specifically, referring to the stakes of climate change and the non-compliance of some member states regarding climate action.

Indonesia, Britain, India, Turkiye and the United Arab Emirates also promoted the diversification of supply chains, with the aim of making them less dependent on certain member countries. 

The Russian Federation, although not present at Thursday’s discussion, began with the topic of sanctions, especially as it related to Russia, China, and Japan. 

France, Japan, and Nigeria all briefly mentioned the supply chain risk that comes in the form of digitalization and digital technologies. 

Enhancing the resilience of infrastructure was also a point for repeated acknowledgement. The Russian Federation called for reforms to be brought in the form of litigations to Article 21 of the WTO status.

EuroMUN Committee: World Trade Organization (WTO)


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