On Thursday, 11 November 2021, a regular meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council comprising trade ministers, will take place in Brussels
The main topics of the meeting will be the World Trade Organization (WTO) reform including preparations for the upcoming 12th WTO Ministerial Conference and EU-US trade relations.
Trade ministers responsible will exchange views on the WTO reform – how to contribute to concrete results with the aim of modernising the WTO – and on preparations for the forthcoming 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. The conference will be an important opportunity to advance the WTO reform, which is urgently needed to meet the global challenges of today and the future.
Discussions on EU-US trade relations will focus on positive developments on outstanding trade issues such as the provisional agreement on aviation disputes, the agreement on a digital service tax, the establishment of the Trade and Technology Council and the recent announcement on steel and aluminium trade. Ministers will also discuss common challenges, particularly the WTO reform, the elimination of competition distortion, the green and digital transformation of economies, and further cooperation within the Trade and Technology Council.
The Executive Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, will present to the ministers the annual report on the implementation of the free trade agreements concluded by the European Union with third countries and the implementation and enforcement of the sustainable development chapters of trade agreements.
In an informal part of the meeting, ministers will also discuss the ongoing negotiations on trade and investment agreements. At the initiative of the Slovenian Presidency, an informal discussion with the US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, will be held via video link. This will be a good opportunity to confirm common views and at the same time to examine where further work is needed to bring the EU and the US closer together.
The meeting will be followed by a press conference with the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, in his capacity as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade), Zdravko Počivalšek, and the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for trade, Valdis Dombrovskis.