Brazilian Roberto Azevêdo re-elected to lead World Trade Organization (WTO)

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Brasilia – Brazilian ambassador Roberto Azevêdo has been re-elected as director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a body made up of 164 countries, including the world’s leading economies, which deals with foreign trade rules.

 

He was the only candidate. What, in the view of the Brazilian government is reflected by the “wide recognition” by the other member countries reached during its first management. Azevêdo’s second term begins on September 1 and lasts four years.

Brazil has one more candidate for an important position in the same organization. Ambassador José Alfredo Graça Lima is running for the head of the Appellate Body, a vacancy that will open in July.

At the head of the WTO, Azevêdo was able to close the only multi-country agreement negotiated within the WTO since its inception in 1995. It is the Trade Facilitation Agreement (AFC), which entered into force on the 22nd. Removes bureaucratic barriers to trade, with a potential for growth in foreign trade of $ 1 trillion.

In a note, the Foreign Ministry highlights two more ambassadors’ achievements: a “historic” understanding of the end of export subsidies for agricultural products reached at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in December 1995, and an update of the Agreement on Aspects of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that “facilitates the access of developing countries to essential medicines.”

“The Brazilian Government warmly congratulates Ambassador Roberto Azevedo on the election and wishes our compatriot for further successes in the second term,” the statement concludes.

Brazil is a founding member of the WTO and has several important causes under discussion in the body, which also acts as a kind of foreign trade tribunal.

There is, for example, a complaint filed by Brazil against Canada over subsidies that the government of that country had injected into the Bombardier aircraft manufacturer, creating unfair competition with Embraer.

It also complains against the US government, which charges a surcharge on imports of Brazilian steel. On the other hand, the WTO preliminarily condemned government tax incentives in several programs, including Inovar-Auto.