Business leaders from U.S., Europe and Japan express support for revitalized multilateral trade system

3 April 2019
Press Release

Washington, Brussels, Tokyo - In a joint statement, the U.S.-based Business Roundtable (BRT), the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) and KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation) shared their support for the trilateral efforts of the trade ministers of the U.S., the EU and Japan to modernize and revitalize the World Trade Organization (WTO).

BRT, ERT and Keidanren – recognizing the WTO as the backbone of the rules-based multilateral trading system – emphasized the importance of promoting market-oriented policies for a fair and mutually advantageous global trading system and welcomed the commitment of the three trade ministers to maintain the viability and effectiveness of existing WTO disciplines while working to modernize the WTO to shape the international trade rules for the 21st century.

The three business groups also expressed their support for the ongoing trilateral work of the EU, U.S. and Japanese trade ministers to address common challenges such as non-market oriented policies of third countries, industrial subsidies, forced technology transfers, e-commerce and the reform of the WTO.

Chair of the Business Roundtable Trade & International Committee and Chairman & CEO of Cummins Inc. Tom Linebarger said:

“Workers, farmers and businesses in the United States and around the world depend on a well-functioning multilateral trading system that facilitates the free flow of trade and investment, and that ensures members abide by their commitments. The World Trade Organization has not significantly updated its rules and market access commitments in decades to better address the evolving challenges and opportunities in the global economy over that time. Business Roundtable supports the U.S. Administration’s work with our European and Japanese allies and their commitment to develop together market-oriented policies that can modernize and strengthen the multilateral rules-based trading system and the WTO.”

Chairman of the ERT and Chairman of AB Volvo Carl-Henric Svanberg said:

“I am delighted that our organizations are working together to champion a functioning international trade regime. The rules-based multilateral trading system has laid the foundation for the international economic growth and development that has lifted millions of people out of poverty over the last decades. The WTO has been a guarantor for stability in global trade relations, but it does need constructive reform so that it keeps delivering benefits, and retains and grows trust among citizens.”

KEIDANREN President & Director General Masakazu Kubota said:

“The WTO’s multilateral trading system is the foundation of the global trade order, curbing protectionism, contributing to global economic development, and reduction of poverty. It is important that trilateral effort among Japan, EU and US governments to reinforce rule-based international economic order, including the reform of WTO system, is fully supported by the business communities.  We hope this joint statement among our three organizations contribute to encourage sincere and constructive discussions among WTO member countries.

To read the full joint statement, click here.

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