Canada leads the way on progressive trade at Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference in Argentina

News Release

December 14, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Eleventh World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from December 10 to 13, 2017, was an opportunity for WTO members to discuss ways of moving the organization forward. Canada played a central role in advancing progressive trade initiatives that aim to make trade work for people and protect the interests of Canadians and citizens worldwide.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, led the Canadian delegation at the WTO conference, at which Canada endorsed and signed a number of joint statements and declarations that support the government’s progressive trade agenda. These initiatives aim to level the playing field and advance women’s economic empowerment, increase opportunities for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, and improve the rules for global e-commerce.

By pursuing these key priorities, Canada is taking concrete action to ensure that everyone, particularly women and small and medium-sized enterprises, can reach their full potential and take advantage of the opportunities that flow from trade.

While in Argentina, Minister Champagne met with Argentinian ministers and stakeholders. He also participated in a youth round table to build on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Argentina in November 2016. These meetings reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to explore new areas of cooperation and deepen their commercial relationship.

Minister Champagne will travel to Montevideo, Uruguay, today to meet with stakeholders and open doors for Canadian companies wanting to do business in Uruguay.


“I’m proud of the work accomplished at the WTO. Now is the time for Canada to play a leading role by taking its progressive trade agenda to the world. We will continue to work with all WTO member states to ensure that the WTO addresses new economic realities and issues while producing positive outcomes for middle-class Canadians and citizens of other countries around the world.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • The WTO, which has 164 member countries, was created on January 1, 1995.

  • The ministerial conferences are the WTO’s highest decision-making events. Conferences are held at least once every two years and are attended by trade ministers from WTO member countries.

Associated Links


Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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