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Canada cuts U.S., China out of talks on reforming global trade

Staff Writer |
Canada’s new Minister of International Trade Jim Carr has invited a dozen trade ministers to meet in October to discuss how to fix the World Trade Organization.

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But two countries have been left off the list: the U.S. and China.

The goal is to “identify concrete and tangible ways the operation and function of the WTO can be advanced and improved over the short, medium, and long term,” Canada’s WTO Ambassador Stephen de Boer said in a phone interview.

“The idea is that it is a discussion starter, or a catalyst and they intend to broaden the conversation.”

Ottawa has invited the top trade officials from Australia, Brazil, Chile, the European Union, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland, he said. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is aware of the meeting but was not invited, said de Boer.

He added that the U.S. has launched several criticisms of the WTO but has yet to offer any proposals to fix it.

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