WTO seals global trade deals at last minute

STORY: Deep into overtime, they finally struck a deal.

The World Trade Organization’s 164 members approved a series of agreements just before dawn on Friday (June 17).

That follows a week of gruelling negotiations.

The new deals include commitments on fishing and pledges on health and food security.

Earlier in the week, WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala hadn’t sounded too optimistic.

“We have an international security crisis with the war in Ukraine, we have a major food crisis, an energy crisis and we have an ongoing climate change crisis. So, this "polycrisis" or simultaneous crisis, is really unprecedented.”

Now agreement will be seen as restoring faith in the WTO’s ability to strike deals.

Among the most high-profile moves was an accord to curb global fishing subsidies.

Experts say that has the potential to reverse declines in over-fished stocks.

Also agreed was a measure to allow developing countries to produce and export vaccines more easily.

Forging agreement at the WTO requires consensus, which means any one nation can veto a deal.

This week, it seems delegates rediscovered a willingness to compromise.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting