Pledge against protectionism

Joint ministerial media statement

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union, Georgia, Hong Kong China, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, Switzerland, Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan Penghu Kinmen and Matsu, Thailand, United States

15 December 2011

We are a group of WTO members — developing and developed, from many regions of the world — who are concerned with the current heightened levels of global economic uncertainty and the prospect that this could result in increased trade protectionism.

In such times of global economic uncertainty, the primacy of the multilateral trading system and the WTO's role is ever more important: not only as an insurance policy against protectionism, but also as an active instrument of international cooperation to create confidence by promoting growth and development.

Against this background, we wish to support the anti-protectionism messages articulated at the 8th Ministerial Conference, with an additional pledge to fight all forms of protectionism in the strongest terms.

We, therefore, commit to refrain from raising new barriers to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO-inconsistent measures in all areas, including those that stimulate exports.

We also reaffirm our undertaking to comply with WTO agreements, as well as to continue to ensure transparency and predictability in implementing measures that impact on trade. In addition, we commit to taking steps to roll back any protectionist measures introduced since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Furthermore, we will continue to exercise maximum restraint in implementing measures that may be considered to be consistent with WTO provisions if they have a significant protectionist effect and promptly rectify such measures where implemented.

We call on other interested WTO members to join us in making this pledge, which can be reviewed, and further strengthened if necessary, at the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference.

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