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Agriculture and rural development
News article23 April 2020Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development1 min read

Coronavirus: The EU and 21 other WTO Members pledge to ensure well-functioning global food supply chains

The European Union, together with 21 other Members of the World Trade Organization, today committed to open and predictable trade in agricultural and food products during the current global health crisis.

Co-signatories of a joint statement shared today with all 164 WTO Members pledge to ensure well-functioning global agriculture and agri-food supply chains and avoid measures with potential negative impact on food security, nutrition and health of other Members of the organisation and their populations.

The statement calls for any emergency measures related to agriculture and agri-food products to be targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary and consistent with WTO rules. Measures should not distort international trade in these products or result in unjustified trade barriers. Rather, WTO Members are encouraged to put in place temporary working solutions to facilitate trade. Signatories also commit to engage in a dialogue to improve preparedness and responsiveness to pandemics, including through multilateral coordination.

WTO Members, other than the EU, who have signed the initiative are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong-China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, Ukraine, United States and Uruguay.

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