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Last Thursday the WTO held a workshop to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin, CEO of the GTPA Lisa McAuley was asked to speak on a panel to discuss increasing demands on product certification and origin traceability. Below is a copy of the speech.
Despite an international context that has grown more hostile for global trade, flows of goods, services, and investment continue to develop, encouraged by the negotiation of free trade agreements and the emergence of global value chains. This entails constant changes to our work on rules of origin. By the time we think we have found a solution to a problem, new demands emerge that also require our creativity and commitment. Hence, the importance of this event so that we do not lose momentum in addressing old and new challenges.
As you are well aware, rules of origin are needed to trade globally. This is true in both a preferential and non-preferential context. Valid arguments have been put forward on the nature and future validity of rules of origin. This is particularly the case as the operation of global value chains challenges the traditional notion of those rules and as governments and businesses agree on new policies to facilitate trade and keep pace with the growing demands of consumers.