Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) – Work programme 2020-2022
Following the March 2018 signing of the Joint Declaration on Fostering Progressive and Inclusive Trade, ITAG was officially launched in November 2018 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on the margins of the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting.
A Workplan was established for 2019-20, and many ITAG activities have been successfully carried out under that Workplan. The landmark signing of the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement represents an opportunity for ITAG Ministers to recommit to a renewed Workplan, taking account of current global circumstances.
The objectives of the 2020-2022 work plan are:
- working together to better understand and communicate the positive impact of trade and trade agreements on all segments of society;
- sharing experiences and best practices in order to develop inclusive trade provisions (e.g., on women’s economic empowerment, gender equality, indigenous peoples, SMEs, labour, and the environment) and to promote their use in bilateral, regional, and multilateral negotiations;
- building a community of like-minded nations and advancing the principles of inclusive trade together in multilateral fora and among Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) member countries, including to establish an ITAG caucus in APEC, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and at the World Trade Organization (WTO); and
- supporting our efforts for a sustainable and inclusive global trade and economic recovery post-COVID-19.
Proposed points of engagement 2020-2022
The work plan has been updated to reflect circumstances of COVID-19 and the need for increased virtual engagements. Key ITAG priorities are:
- ITAG expansion: Identify opportunities to engage with other potential ITAG members amongst the CPTPP and APEC membership, as well as how best to advance engagement with other potentially like-minded WTO Members outside CPTPP and APEC
- Global Trade and Gender Arrangement: Promote the Arrangement and increase the number of signatories
- Timely and strategic implementation of co-operation activities under the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement
- Trade and Indigenous Peoples and Trade and Climate Change: Consideration of further work to be undertaken, including the possible negotiation of new instruments.
- Three Year Review: Examine the effectiveness of the CPTPP Agreement with respect to sustainable development, gender, indigenous peoples, domestic regional economic development, SMEs, labour rights, the environment and climate change in preparation for a review in 2021.
- Possible ITAG seminar at the WTO to highlight how digital trade/e-commerce outcomes can contribute to inclusive trade (with a particular focus on MSMES and gender). With the WTO 2020 public forum cancelled, this would need to occur as a stand-alone session and likely incorporate virtual elements.
- WTO 12th Ministerial Conference, Kazakhstan, June 2021 (TBC): Opportunity for ITAG Joint Statement and to gain more Participants in the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement
- APEC 2021: Opportunity for further progress on inclusive trade matters, including gender and Indigenous peoples.
Completed work to date
- January 30, 2019: Inaugural ITAG WTO caucus meeting in Geneva.
- March 5, 2019: ITAG officials presented at the Canada-sponsored APEC “Capacity Building Workshop on Women and Trade”
- March 2019: Inaugural ITAG officials and APEC ITAG caucus meetings on the margins of the APEC SOM1 meetings in Santiago, Chile.
- March 18, 2019: ITAG officials presented at the Canada-sponsored Workshop on Labour in Trade Agreements at the WTO in Geneva
- March 28, 2019: Second WTO ITAG caucus in Geneva.
- May 16, 2019: Ministerial meeting of ITAG in the margins of the APEC Meeting of Ministers’ Responsible for Trade in Valparaiso, Chile
- June 27, 2019: ITAG seminar at the WTO on the linkages between agricultural trade and the sustainable development goals, sponsored by New Zealand
- September 10-11, 2019: ITAG Workshop on Trade Policy Engagement in Santiago.
- October 8–10, 2019: World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF), Vancouver, Canada; Meeting of ITAG officials and discussion on inclusive trade and Indigenous peoples.
- October 7–9, 2019: Second CPTPP Commission meeting in Auckland, New Zealand; Meeting of ITAG officials and promotion of Trade and Gender Arrangement to CPTPP members.
- August 4, 2020 (GMT): Signing of the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement.
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