Sir Leon Brittan, Vice President of the European Commission, issued the following statement as Chairman of the 27th Quadrilateral Trade Minsters' meeting in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, on October 21, 1995. Also attending the meeting were Roy MacLaren, Canada's Minister for International Trade, Mickey Kantor, U.S. Trade Representative, and Ryutaro Hashimoto, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister.
This was the 27th Ministerial Meeting of the Quadrilateral. We have had detailed and useful informal talks over two days on the full range of current issues confronting us.
We welcome the positive start made by the WTO [World Trade Organization]. We intend to give the WTO our full support as the leader of the open trading system. We will contribute fully to its efficient functioning as an institution.
We intend to work to expand WTO membership as rapidly as possible, on the basis of respect for WTO rules and the achievement of meaningful market access.
Now and in the run-up to the Singapore Ministerial Meeting, we must strengthen the multilateral process and give it fresh momentum. We have agreed on the need to demonstrate more widely the benefits of the multilateral liberalization process and to broaden active support for it.
We have decided to increase our co-operative efforts to complete the unfinished business of the Uruguay Round. We look forward to the Singapore Ministerial Meeting itself, where we expect the WTO not only to review implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements and consider the results of work since Marrakesh, but also to expand its work program to include new issues.
In the most urgent area of negotiations, on basic telecommunications, we have agreed to work together on a number of fronts in order to achieve a substantial success by the April deadline. We have also discussed the need to pay close attention to maritime transport.
Taking into account the work already done on trade and the environment, we have discussed how to bring into the WTO other new issues (trade and investment, trade and competition, trade and labour standards).
Finally, as concerns regional trade initiatives, we have agreed that greater transparency is desirable, and that it would be helpful to seek agreement in the WTO to create a single committee that could both enable the WTO to devote more attention to the review work in hand and help us to ensure that our regional trade efforts contribute to strengthening the multilateral trading system.
Source: Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Press Release No. 195 (October 23, 1995).
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