Business, Economics and Jobs

WTO approves global trade deal for first time in two decades


Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luiz Alberto Figueiredo speaks during a press conference after G20 meeting in Nusa Dua on December 2, 2013. The WTO meets for a crunch summit in Indonesia from December 3-6.


Adek Berry

The World Trade Organization has approved a global trade deal for the first time in two decades, a long sought-after agreement that could boost the world economy by as much as $1 trillion. 

It's the first global trade deal to be agreed upon since the WTO formed in 1995, a milestone that caused WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo to shed happy tears at the closing ceremony on Saturday, according to Voice of America.

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The Bali package, as it's been dubbed, will simplify customs procedures and hasten the flow of goods, wrote CNN — as well as cut the cost of trade by between 10 to 15 percent by means of easing border delays and diminishing paperwork. 

Included in the new agreement is aid that will allow less developed countries train new customs officials and update their customs infrastructure, wrote Marketwatch. The agreement will be adopted by July 2014. 

The US Chamber of Commerce voiced its support for the trade deal. "The WTO has re-established its credibility as an indispensable forum for trade negotiations. Nor is this a paper victory: Streamlining the passage of goods across borders by cutting red tape and bureaucracy could boost the world economy," it said, according to CBC Canada. 

Here is BBC video of the WTO announcement of the Bali deal: