Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today welcomed news the United States and India had reached an agreement aimed at resolving differences currently blocking implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

“The benefits set to flow from implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation are significant,” Mr Robb said.

“The OECD estimates that the Agreement will reduce trade costs for WTO members by between 11 and 15 per cent.  The Agreement is of particular benefit for developing nations, who will see the biggest gains with more than 21 million jobs expected to be created worldwide as a result of its implementation.

“This development should also enable us to deliver on other agreements ministers reached in Bali in 2013, and to implement all elements of the Bali package, including commitments on food security.  It should also unlock discussions on developing the WTO's forward agenda and a post-Bali work program,” Mr Robb said.

The Agreement on Trade Facilitation was a key outcome from the Bali WTO Ministerial Conference held in December 2013, and was due to be adopted by WTO Members in July 2014.  However the July deadline passed after a small number of WTO Members blocked adoption of the Protocol of Amendment required to open the Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

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