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WTO says $1 trillion global trade treaty to come into force

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Staff Writer | January 26, 2017
Roberto Azevedo WTO
Global trade   "The biggest agreement we ever reached"

A trade accord that will boost global exports by $1 trillion should come into force within two weeks.

The head of the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo said that, just as the rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump clouds the outlook for global trade.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will have a major impact on poorer countries, because it standardises and simplifies customs procedures, slashing the time, cost and complexity of taking goods over borders.

"In the WTO's history, it is the biggest agreement we ever reached," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo told Reuters in an interview.

Jordan, Chad and Kuwait are all poised to ratify, which would tip the agreement over the required mark of 110 WTO members to take effect, Azevedo said.

"There are estimates that once fully implemented, this could have an impact of around 2.7 percentage points on trade expansion throughout the world every year until say 2030, and half a percentage point of GDP growth around the world."

Where a product may previously have taken 6-7 weeks to arrive, the waiting time should be cut to a few days.

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