1. Time for Parallel and Alternative Paths?

Volume
13,
Number
3
-
7 September 2009
7 September 2009
Despite ringing calls for a swift conclusion of the Doha Round from various high-level gatherings, a number of countries are looking for parallel and alternative venues to advance governance of trade. Many trade negotiators say the main factor holding up progress at the WTO is the United States'...
7 September 2009
Three issues stood out at the conclusion of the July G-8 summit held in L'Aquila, Italy: the need to broaden the group, a new focus on food security and a call to wrap up the Doha Round by 2010. The most significant development at the summit may have been the growing acceptance that the G-8, which...
7 September 2009
The third WTO report on trade-related measures taken by Members in response to the economic crisis found a growing trend toward protectionism and predicted that the volume of global exports and imports would decline by 10 percent in 2009. "In the past three months there has been further slippage...
7 September 2009
Very little substantive progress has occurred in the past few months in the key areas under negotiation in the Doha Round, and WTO Members are waiting for a clear signal from the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh to re-energise the process. Although sixteen G-20 members have called for concluding the...
7 September 2009
At the Second Global Review of Aid for Trade, held in July in Geneva, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy stressed that "if Aid for Trade was urgent in 2007, it is essential today." Indeed, the current global economic crisis is further constricting the development prospects of low-income countries...
7 September 2009
Setting a high threshold for a defence based on the ‘public morals' exception, a dispute settlement panel ruled in August that many of China's restrictions on the import and distribution of media products were inconsistent with its WTO commitments. The case, initiated by the US in 2007, concerned...
7 September 2009
After months of rumination, the EU and the US have initiated a formal WTO complaint against China's export restrictions on key industrial inputs, mainly used in the steel sector. The complainants filed identical consultation requests on 25 June, alleging that China's quotas, duties and other fees...
7 September 2009
China - IPRs: The US and China have agreed that the latter will implement the panel ruling on its enforcement of intellectual property rights by 20 March 2010. The panel found that Chinese authorities could not release into ‘channels of commerce' counterfeit goods after the removal of fake...
7 September 2009
In June 1997, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia agreed to conduct separate WTO accession processes. Twelve years later, the leaders of the three countries announced a complete reversal of this approach. What are the likely pitfalls of this extraordinary new development? There is no doubt that Prime...
7 September 2009
Trading partners remain mystified about how Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan intend to proceed on their joint accession WTO bid announced more than two months ago. The three countries announced on 9 June that they were suspending their individual WTO accession requests and seek instead to join the...
7 September 2009
The ‘buy national' clauses that numerous governments have included in their economic stimulus packages are causing growing concern. For many developing countries, bilateral investment treaties may be the best option for legal recourse against such provisions. Despite their likely trade-distorting...
7 September 2009
In June, China shocked the world by announcing that most of its US$585 billion stimulus package would be reserved for the purchase domestic goods, equipment and services. Under the policy, released by nine state agencies, government procurement must use only Chinese goods and services unless these...
7 September 2009
Following political developments in Ecuador and Honduras, the EU may have to give up its ambition to conclude only region-to-region ‘association agreements' in Latin America. Association agreements are broader than traditional free trade pacts, notably because they also contain development...
7 September 2009
The United States has extended preferential trade terms for Ecuador, Colombia and Peru until 31 December 2009 under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). The Obama administration resisted strong pressure from business lobbies to terminate Ecuador's benefits because of...
7 September 2009
Western African countries and the European Union acknowledged in June that more time was needed to conclude an economic partnership agreement between the two regions. The parties had hoped to wrap up the negotiations in mid-2009, but have now agreed to take the process forward in two stages. They...
7 September 2009
Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland signed an interim economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the EU in June. The interim agreement covers only trade in goods and ensures that the preferential market access they currently enjoy will continue uninterrupted. The four countries also...
7 September 2009
The G-8 is investing in it, UN agencies are holding international symposia on it and civil society is struggling with it. Food insecurity is on everyone's mind, not least of all those experiencing it. Promises made at the height of the 2008 food price crisis are coming due and helping spur the...
7 September 2009
An August negotiating session on the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention in Bonn ignited some interesting, albeit expected, sparks around the subject of intellectual property rights. The United States - which is engaging more actively in the debate, but still a bit vague about many...
7 September 2009
A ‘carbon footprint' refers to an estimate of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by a person, organisation or process. But do labels related to this criterium just intend to raise environmental awareness, or are they mainly geared to furthering the interests of domestic producers? At...
7 September 2009
The conclusion of the Doha Round or an agreement to end the banana dispute at the WTO would significantly reduce the preferential margins that African, Caribbean and Pacific banana exporters enjoy under their Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union. On 1 January 2008, the EU...
7 September 2009
From time immemorial, like most peoples of the ancient world, Indians have referred to products by the names of their places of origin. They have always known that goods from certain regions have distinct qualities and characteristics, but formal protection for such products is relatively recent...
7 September 2009
The world no longer has just one indispensable nation. Along with the United States, China will be at the centre of any lasting solution to the globe's two most pressing economic concerns: recovering from the worst financial crisis since the 1930s and containing climate change. Whatever growth the...
7 September 2009
Sep. 14-15 WTO Committee on Trade Development Sep. 24 WTO Committtee on Agriculture Sep. 24-25 G-20 Leaders' Meeting Pittsburgh www.pittsburghsummit.gov Oct. 5-9 WTO Council for Trade in Services Oct. 26-28 2009 Bridges China Dialogue on ‘China and Geneva Global Sustainable Recovery: Trade, Energy...
7 September 2009
Selected Documents Circulated at the WTO Dispute Settlement. 12 August. China - Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products. Report of the Panel. (WT/DS363/R) Dispute Settlement. 25 June 2009. China - Measures Relating...