Statement on Multi-party Interim Arrangement for appealing trade disputes through WTO


March 27, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, today issued the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge affecting the way businesses operate in Canada and around the world. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to provide Canadian businesses with support and stability, including by strengthening the rules-based trading system, with the World Trade Organization [WTO] at its core.

“Following the statement by ministers at Davos, Switzerland, on the margins of the World Economic Forum, Canada and 15 other members of the WTO have decided to put in place the Multi-party Interim Arrangement [MPIA] for allowing appeals of panel reports in trade disputes.

“This arrangement will be in place on an interim basis until the WTO Appellate Body is fully operational. It will be open to all WTO members wishing to join. Building on the work of Canada and the EU, which led to the July 2019 Canada-EU bilateral interim appeal arbitration arrangement, the MPIA will restore access to a binding dispute settlement system, including the possibility of an appeal, to resolve any trade dispute between participating countries.

“It demonstrates a willingness on the part of our international partners to ensure predictability and stability in the markets, which will help businesses around the world navigate this uncertain time.

“Canada will continue to work with all interested WTO members to find a permanent multilateral solution to resolve the Appellate Body impasse.” 

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Ryan Nearing
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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