Preliminary findings and proposals by Task Force 3 on Trade, Investments & Growth

WTO Reform agenda

  • Improving the functioning and centrality of the WTO and confronting “deglobalization” in the multilateral trading system by: i) promoting convergence and coordination via issue-specific focused dialogue on emerging trends in trade-related policies, building on lessons from the experience with specific RTAs and investment treaties; ii) restoring the functioning of the Dispute Settlement System (DSS) at all levels (panels, appeal, compliance) through appropriate procedural rules and through administrative and financial arrangements within the WTO.
  • Encouraging the G20 key role in promoting dialogue on the use and operation of plurilaterals under the WTO rulebook in order to revamp multilateral cooperation.
  • Addressing the issue of the “developing country” status and “Special and Differential Treatment” (SDT) through a flexible case-by-case approach by defining non-objective criteria for obligations proportional to WTO members development levels.

Digital trade

  • Overcoming the major obstacles to digital trade and cross-border data flows by defining at the G20 level a common set of principles, promoting a new multilateral regulatory framework and facilitating the integration of SMEs in global digital trade markets.

Investment issues

  • Promoting policies, regulations, and measures to create “digital friendly” investment environments to attract digital FDIs. FDIs contribute to attract digital knowledge and technology, boosting productivity and job creation.
  • Developing guiding principles for investment facilitation frameworks aimed at supporting sustainable FDIs. Investment facilitation frameworks help enhance transparency, cooperation and reduce costs for foreign investors.
  • Increasing transparency on investment screening mechanisms to support international comparison and the sharing of best practices and models. Investment screening is an increasingly widespread policy tool aimed at protecting national security and public order which may create new investment barriers.

Trade and environmental sustainability

  • Encouraging international cooperation and coordination to make sustainability standards an effective instrument for a more sustainable production in global value chains (GVCs).
  • Promoting an agreement on core priorities on business and human rights in the context of GVCs on the basis of best practices.

Industrial subsidies

  • Developing frameworks to measure domestic subsidies to prevent domestic distortions and welfare-reducing effects, and international tensions associated with industrial subsidies.
  • Reforming the notion of subsidy under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures of the WTO, enhance transparency on the notification of subsidies and encourage open plurilateral negotiations and agreements.

MSMEs in global markets

  • Facilitating the integration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) into GVCs by facilitating their access to funding and technical assistance; favoring the creation of industrial clusters and cooperatives; and establishing quality standards and certifications.

Trade in agriculture

  • Promoting a new G20 Plan of Action on Agricultural Trade in a Post-Pandemic World with the aim to tackle export restrictions and other trade barriers to agricultural products that threaten especially the participation of low-income countries in global food value chains.

Task Force on Trade