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APEC host says WTO and trade row scuppered joint declaration

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APEC host says WTO and trade row scuppered joint declarationThe host of a fractious Asia-Pacific summit said Friday that “alternative” views on free trade and WTO rules prevented members agreeing a joint communique for the first time ever, five days after the US-China trade row overshadowed the APEC meeting. In a chairman’s statement following last weekend’s summit, Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill said members had been unable to agree on sections concerning reform of the World Trade Organisation, and also protectionism. The highlighted paragraphs included a commitment to “improve the functioning of the WTO” by working “together to improve its negotiating, monitoring and dispute settlement functions”.