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December 07, 2013

WTO Reaches First-Ever Global Trade Deal

by VOA News

Delegates to the World Trade Organization meeting in Bali, Indonesia have approved a global trade deal for the first time since the organization was founded in 1995.

WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo shed tears during the summit's closing ceremony Saturday, saying, "for the first time in history, the WTO has finally delivered."

The centerpiece of the agreement eases barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures and making them more transparent. The deal still must be approved by all 159 member governments.

The four days of talks had been threatened when Cuba said it would not accept a deal that would not help end the U.S. embargo of the communist nation. Cuba later dropped its threat of a veto.

Analysts estimate that the deal will add $1 trillion to the world economy and say it preserved the future of the WTO.