Al estallar la crisis financiera mundial, los Miembros de la OMC encomendaron a la Secretaría de la OMC la misión de preparar periódicamente información actualizada sobre las últimas tendencias en la aplicación de las nuevas medidas comerciales y relacionadas con el comercio y sobre las novedades importantes en la formulación de políticas comerciales. El ejercicio de vigilancia del comercio de la OMC, que se puso en marcha a comienzos de 2009, prosigue satisfactoriamente y, en diez años, ha dado lugar a 23 informes de vigilancia del comercio sobre los Miembros de la OMC y 20 sobre el G20.
«For 10 years now, the trade monitoring exercise has provided WTO members with regular and up-to-date reports on the latest trends and developments in the implementation of new trade measures. It is an important exercise in fostering greater transparency and predictability in trade policy, which is vital for our members as well as for businesses around the world,» said Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the WTO’s trade monitoring.
He continued: «The WTO trade monitoring exercise continues to evolve and strengthen, taking into account changes in the international trading environment and the contributions of all WTO members and observers.»
The reports, undertaken under the mandate of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism, have evolved considerably over the years to encompass the changing nature of trade policies implemented by WTO members and the international trading environment more generally. The trade monitoring exercise and its reports represent an important tool to track the latest trends in the implementation of a broad range of policy measures that facilitate, and restrict, trade flows.
The WTO trade monitoring reports are developed in close cooperation with WTO members. The WTO-wide reports are discussed in the Trade Policy Review Body twice a year, in July and December, providing members with an interactive and non-legal peer-review platform. First and foremost, the monitoring exercise is about providing additional and up-to-date transparency. It is intended to be factual and with no legal effect on the rights and obligations of WTO members. Moreover, it is without prejudice to members’ negotiating positions and has no legal implication with respect to the conformity of any measure noted in the report with any WTO Agreement or any provision thereof.