In 1995, the share of developing countries in world trade was less than 30%. By 2017, it had risen to 45%. With the integration of trade, income levels have increased in all developing regions, helping to lift one billion people out of extreme poverty. You should be proud of the role your organization has played. The multilateral trading system, which is generally enshrined in customs and trade agreements and in the World Trade Organization, has created an institutional basis for this positive development. This is why the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the crucial role of trade and calls on the international community to revive the global trading partnership and commit to “a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system within the framework of the WTO”. But they can also hinder legitimate businesses that use inputs purchased abroad. “In the apparel field, the standard rule of origin for U.S. trade deals is called `Yarn forward,`” Elliott told me in June. This means that from the yarn to the final garment to the final item, all of these inputs – typically as part of a regional trade agreement – must be obtained from countries in the region. Since the end of the Second World War, nations have relied on a system of multilateral institutions and agreements to promote peace and equitable social and economic progress. The World Trade Organization is, along with its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, an indispensable part of this system. . . .
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