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WTO Adopts First Global Free Trade Agreement.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

(American Meat Institute)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted its first global trade agreement in a deal that introduces new standards for customs checks and border procedures. Supporters of the deal say it will streamline trade flow, adding up to $1 trillion and 21 million jobs to the world economy.

The deal is the first in the history of the WTO and comes after years of impasse, months of deadlock and a last minute objection.

"We have put our negotiations back on track," said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo at a news conference held after trade diplomats applauded their first major accomplishment. "We cannot wait another 17 or 18 years to deliver again."

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the agreement was a "particularly important win for small and medium-sized businesses in all nations." He noted it could substantially reduce transaction times and costs and would unlock new opportunities for both rich and poor countries.

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