World Trade Organization's deal goes back to drawing board for 'new phase' of uncertainty

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The World Trade Organization is regrouping to see whether it is still possible to finalize a major deal to boost global trade after a deadline passed to formally adopt it.

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WTO members were due to adopt the deal before Friday, leaving the Geneva-based organization's 159 member economies scrambling to figure out what they could do next.

The organization approved the deal in December at the eleventh hour in Bali, Indonesia, as a way of easing barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures and making them more transparent.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement "the fact we do not have a conclusion means that we are entering a new phase in our work — a phase which strikes me as being full of uncertainties."