WTO-illegal Investment Facilitaton rejected at MC13


South Africa and India have formally opposed the adopton of the Investment Facilitaton “for Development” Agreement for consideraton during the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the WTO, upholding legal procedures regarding plurilaterals of the global trade body.

The Marrakesh Agreement is unambiguous that a new plurilateral agreement can only be adopted in the WTO through “Annex 4” rules, as proponents of the IF agreement are proposing, exclusively by explicit consensus of all WTO Members.

There is no consensus at the MC13 that the IF can even be legally entered on the agenda. Previous decisions of WTO Ministers are clear that negotatons on investment can only be launched by consensus, once the Doha round is over, so the IF has no legal status in the WTO.

The Minister of Trade for South Korea, a co-sponsor of the agreement, acknowledged they would need consensus to incorporate the deal, and let slip that the “WTO Secretariat is trying to persuade opponents” to drop their oppositIon.

Read more here