The World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), one of AIIS’ top priorities, went into effect on Feb. 22.

The agreement, under which nations pledge to simplify and standardize customs procedures, could, by 2030, reduce global trade costs by 14.3 percent a year, increase global trade by 2.7 percent a year, and add 0.5 percent a year to global economic growth, WTO Director-General D.G. Azevêdo said.

“The Trade Facilitation Agreement is the biggest reform of global trade this century,” Azevêdo said. “It sends a message about the power of trade to support jobs and growth around the world – in developed and developing countries alike.”

The agreement went into effect when the number of nations that had ratified it reached 112, surpassing two-thirds of the WTO’s 164 members.

The American Institute for International Steel has worked to secure enactment of the TFA for several years, and AIIS Executive Director Richard Chriss said that the pact will boost the international steel trade.

“This agreement will make it easier for AIIS members and others to engage in trade around the world,” Chriss said. “And the greater efficiencies that will result will contribute to stronger economic growth and lower prices for consumers.”

Full details of the TFA are available on the WTO website

Photo: Signatories at the signing into force of the TFA. Credit: WTO

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