Business & UN

ICC priorities for MC12

  • 7 June 2022

ICC priorities for MC12

Seven priority areas for a successful World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC12)

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The International Chamber of Commerce has set out priorities to meet the needs of modern economies and all stakeholders ahead of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC12) taking place on 12-15 June 2022 at WTO headquarters in Geneva.

The seven priority areas for the global business community set out in this document are:

  1. WTO reform

WTO Members must give political support to make the necessary reforms and improve the functioning of the WTO. Trade ministers should create a working group charged with agreeing on a collective vision on the common objectives and foundational principles of the WTO, including market access and trade liberalisation, and the key areas of reform to prioritise.

  1. E-Commerce

As a first-order priority, ministers should make permanent the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions or, at a minimum, renew the moratorium for a further two years. The moratorium has enabled digital trade to flourish since 1998, preventing the imposition of burdensome tariffs.

  1. Fisheries subsidies

WTO Members must finally complete the long-overdue fisheries subsidies negotiations. In the eyes of business, this is an essential marker of the credibility of the WTO as a multilateral trade policy forum and the international community’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

  1. Food security

The WTO must effectively deal with the worsening food crisis. Record food prices and supply shortages are causing major food security challenges and—without rapid coordinated action—risk pushing millions more people into hunger and causing social and political unrest.

  1. Health

WTO Members should adopt and go beyond the Trade and Health Initiative. International trade remains a powerful tool to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic, contribute to economic recovery and effectively respond to future pandemics and other health crises.

  1. Environmental sustainability

ICC strongly supports the ongoing discussions on issues related to trade and environmental sustainability. We believe that trade should contribute to solutions to the global challenges we face, including through the transition to more sustainable business practices, and the WTO has a key role to play.

  1. Services Domestic Regulation

Conclusion of the Services Domestic Regulation agreement in 2021 was a very welcome development. The new disciplines contained in this historic agreement ensure transparency, legal certainty and predictability and regulatory quality—all of which offer significant benefits for global business.