On July 26 WTO Members agreed by consensus on the amendment of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism. According to the information from the WTO website, the amendment was accomplished after a series of intensive consultations and meetings following of the Sixth Appraisal of the TPRM on 20 June 2016.
The decision is the first ever amendment to the TPRM, which was established in 1989 under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and made permanent under the WTO, as part of the 1994 Uruguay Round agreements. The TPRM includes regular Trade Policy Reviews for WTO members and a monitoring of developments in the international trading environment.
The amendment includes modification of the TPR cycles and the review of the timeline for the question-and-answer process of the TPRs. The TPR cycles will be changed to frequencies of three, five or seven years (instead of two, four or six years), depending on the size of the economy, with the largest economies reviewed most frequently. The timeline review will allow members under review who opt to provide early written answers to other members’ questions will have one more week to prepare the answers. Furthermore, to enhance the transparency of trade policies, there was agreement to establish a regular practice for members to provide brief reports on significant changes in their policies during trade monitoring meetings.
Following approval by the General Council, the amendment has been officially incorporated into the WTO Agreement, pursuant to paragraph 8 of Article X of the Marrakesh Agreement.
Brazil went through its seventh TPR review last week, on 17 and 19 July, as informed by us in this post. All WTO members are subject to review, with the frequency of review depending on the country’s size. Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated.
The next reviews of 2017 are the following:
13 & 15 September Jamaica
20 & 22 September Paraguay
4 & 6 October Iceland
25 & 27 October WAEMU (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo)
14 & 16 November Bolivia, Plurinational State of
21 & 23 November Cambodia
Read more on: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/tpr_26jul17_e.htm