1. Trade and Climate: Joined at the Hip?

Volume
14,
Number
1
-
1 February 2010
1 February 2010
Two events of importance to sustainable development advocates took place at the close of the year 2009: the long-delayed WTO ministerial conference and the Copenhagen climate summit. The overarching theme of the seventh WTO ministerial conference was ‘no surprises'. It was agreed months in advance...
1 February 2010
Despite the efforts of Director-General Lamy and his lieutenants to keep a brave face, a sense of frustration and failure clearly pervades the Doha Round negotiations. Meanwhile, the world has moved on and issues not on the Doha agenda, such as the climate change- trade nexus have taken on a...
1 February 2010
There was strong convergence on the importance of trade and the Doha Round to economic recovery and poverty alleviation in developing countries. The development dimension should remain central and particular attention should be paid to issues of importance to developing countries. Ministers...
1 February 2010
In late March, WTO Members are set to decide whether the Doha Round can be wrapped up this year. Given the stalemate on substantive differences in agriculture and industrial market access, the answer is likely to be no. What will happen in that case is uncertain. At the time of writing, information...
1 February 2010
In October, least-developed countries outlined an ‘early harvest' WTO ministerial decision that would grant them duty-and quota-free market access as of next year, but it was not adopted and such benefits now depend on the conclusion of the Doha Round. The Dar es Salaam Declaration, adopted by...
1 February 2010
On 15 December, the European Union announced that agreement had at long last been reached with Latin American banana exporters on tariff cuts, thus signalling an end to the WTO's most protracted dispute. A broader deal on the treatment of tropical products, however, remains controversial. Since the...
1 February 2010
Discussions on a number of intellectual property issues in October showed that deep divisions remain on how to counter biopiracy and on whether so-called non-violation complaints should be allowed under the TRIPS Agreement. The Council for Trade-related Aspects of International Property Rights (...
1 February 2010
In a final victory in its long-running dispute against US cotton subsidies, Brazil has been awarded the right to impose trade sanctions, including in the form of cross-retaliation. In August, WTO arbitrators awarded Brazil the right to slap trade sanctions worth US$294.7 million due to the United...
1 February 2010
Two recent dispute settlement developments illustrate the growing role of non-tariff barriers in keeping out imports. The cases will require panels to take on the delicate task of assessing whether such measures are legitimate or whether they amount to disguised restriction of trade. Both disputes...
1 February 2010
China has challenged the United States' embargo on its chicken exports, but a change in US import rules may make the case moot or harder to argue. The three members of a WTO dispute settlement panel on China's complaint on US restrictions on its processed poultry exports were appointed on 25...
1 February 2010
Beijing has initiated WTO proceedings against safeguard and anti-dumping actions taken by the US and the EU to curb imports of Chinese tyres and screws. According to Global Trade Alert, at least 112 trade relief investigations were launched on Chinese products in 2009 alone. Just three days after...
1 February 2010
EU - Seal Ban Update In November, Canada and Norway requested dispute settlement consultations with the European Union over the latter's import ban on all seal products except those that "result from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and contribute to their...
1 February 2010
The Andean country has joined a growing number of developing nations in taking advantage of flexibilities in the WTO's intellectual property rights agreement in order to secure access to life-saving medicines. On 23 October, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa signed a decree that allows the country'...
1 February 2010
Frantic negotiations between heads of state and other high-ranking officials in the closing hours of the December climate summit managed to produce just a short, aspirational document, which left many sceptical about the chances of reaching a binding agreement next year. After two weeks of...
1 February 2010
In the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate change meeting, technology transfer was - with emissions reductions and finance - one of the key sticking points. It was hoped that the conference would, at least, spell out elements of a ‘package' that would serve as a basis for further discussions in 2010...
1 February 2010
The European Union and South Korea initialled a ‘21st century free trade agreement' in mid-October, and hope that the pact can enter into force by June 2010. EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton said the treaty was the most ambitious free trade agreement ever negotiated by the European Union, and...
1 February 2010
President Obama faces contradictory pressures on trade policy, with congressional Democrats pushing for a major change of tack and business asking for action on bilateral deals. Meanwhile in Geneva, trade negotiators lament the lack of US engagement. Speaking at a meeting of his Economic Recovery...
1 February 2010
The Pittsburgh summit of twenty major economies confirmed a power shift in global leadership on economic matters, but gave little comfort to those looking for leadership in trade. The most notable achievement of the summit was undoubtedly the decision to make the G-20 a permanent institution that...
1 February 2010
Each time trade ministers gather, economists seem to offer new projections of how much wealthier the world might be after liberalising trade. One recent study has created a stir by suggesting US$300-US$700 billion in potential global welfare gains from an ambitious Doha deal. These figures contrast...
1 February 2010
While the WTO ministerial wound its way through pre-arranged motions, more than 400 experts, politicians, trade delegates, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations and academia, as well as the general public, flocked to ICTSD's Geneva Trade and Development Symposium. This...
1 February 2010
Early Feb. Agriculture and NAMA Negotiations Feb. 1-5 Services Negotiations Feb. 8-12 Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation Feb. 15-19 Senior Officials Week (Doha Round) Feb. 18 Dispute Settlement Body Feb. 22-23 General Council March 1-12 Agriculture Negotiations March 2-4 Negotiating Group on...
1 February 2010
Cannady, Cynthia. September 2009. Access to Climate Change Technology by Developing Countries: A Practical Strategy. Issue Paper No.25. ICTSD Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade Policies and Sustainable Energy Chaytor, Beatrice. September 2009. Environmental Issues in Economic Partnership...