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B20 Statement on entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement

The TFA went into force on February 22, 2017. It is the first multilateral agreement agreed upon under the WTO umbrella.

The B20 strongly welcomes the ratification of the TFA. B20 Sherpa Stormy Mildner emphasized: “The TFA is the classic case for a win-win scenario. It can make trade easier, faster, and less costly for all, thus resulting in higher incomes, welfare, growth and sustainable development.“

The TFA will simplify and clarify international import and export procedures, customs formalities and transit requirements. It is now key that the agreement is fully and swiftly implemented. Ambitious TFA implementation would be a boon for development and inclusivity by increasing possibilities for SMEs and developing countries to participate in global value chains, thus tapping the huge potential of trade. The TFA can also help to increase transparency and reduce the scope for corruption. The success of the most significant WTO multilateral agreement since 1995 is a strong sign in the current environment of trade skepticism and underlines the commitment to the multilateral trading system. If WTO members live up to their ambitions the TFA can boost annual GDP growth by 0.5 percent and world export growth by 2.7 percent. Trade costs of low income countries could be reduced by as much as 16.5 percent. If, however, the TFA is not fully implemented benefits risk being much smaller. The G20 business community will contribute to an ambitious and swift implementation, for instance through the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the participation in national trade facilitation committees.

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