The following joint statement regarding the virtual Ottawa Group meeting on World Trade Organization Reform (WTO) and COVID-19 was released today:

“The global economy is experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. Recovering from the pandemic requires cooperation among like-minded countries to keep trade open, support businesses and create jobs, while keeping people safe.”

“The pandemic has underlined the critical role the WTO plays in ensuring a rules-based global trading system. Canada is a trading nation and now more than ever we need predictability, transparency, rules, disciplines and enforcement. Every effort should be made to resist new trade barriers and other forms of protectionism.”

“We applaud Minister Ng and the members of the Ottawa Group on WTO Reform for their efforts to ensure trade remains open and predictable. We urge other WTO members to support the Ottawa Group in its efforts to modernize the trading system for businesses in the 21st century.”

“We welcome the Ottawa Group Action Plan on COVID-19. Intensified engagement with business is critical to the success of the Action Plan and we stand ready to support the Ottawa Group”.