Deniz Kılınç / İstanbul, May 8 () – World Trade Organizaton (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo endorsed members to find a solution on the recent trade tensions and stressed that it could damage the whole multilateral trading system if it is left unsolved.
At a meeting of the full WTO membership on yesterday, Azevedo has stated the following: “Concerns about rising trade tensions and the blockage in appointments to the Appellate Body are very widely shared among the membership. As long as tensions persist between major trading partners, the risk of a serious escalation remains very real.
“We must do all we can to avoid going down this path and taking measures that are difficult to reverse. When trade restrictions are pursued in this way it can threaten growth and job creation everywhere. Today two thirds of global trade takes place through global value chains - and this clearly illustrates the potential for knock-on effects. And in these situations it is often the smaller players and the poorest communities that stand to lose the most. Resolving these issues is in everyone's urgent interest.
“I am continuing to talk to members, and urge all sides to be very cautious in how they proceed. It is positive that these matters are being taken up in the regular bodies of the WTO. The issues have been discussed in the Safeguards Committee and in the Council on Trade in Goods, for example, as well as in the General Council.
I also encourage members to continue pursuing their bilateral contacts, to complement multilateral processes. The important thing is that conversations are taking place, and that members are trying to find solutions.
"It is also of utmost importance that members work to resolve the impasse regarding nominations for the Appellate Body. If we do not find a solution here – whatever shape that solution may take – we could severely compromise the whole multilateral trading system.”