October 25, 2018 / 7:45 PM / 22 days ago

Trade ministers voice support for WTO reforms at Ottawa meeting

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, Brazil's foreign minister Aloysio Nunes, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevedo and Canada's International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr pose with officials during the Ottawa Ministerial on WTO Reform in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Top trade officials from 12 countries and the European Union on Thursday declared strong support for reforming World Trade Organization rules and unblocking appointments of the body’s appellate judges, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters.

In the statement expected to be issued at the conclusion of a meeting aimed at launching discussions on WTO reform proposals, the ministers said they shared a “common resolve for rapid and concerted action” to address challenges that have fueled protectionism and have “put the entire multilateral trading system at risk.”

Reporting by David Ljunggren and David Lawder; Editing by Susan Thomas

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