What Ambition for Doha?: After the March stock-taking showed no clear way out of the current impasse, the level of ambition of the Doha negotiations is emerging as the latest flashpoint.

Volume
14,
Number
2
-
7 May 2010
7 May 2010
Wrapping up the stock-taking week in March, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy indicated that the membership was "not where we wanted to be by now." The goal of concluding the negotiations this year was quietly buried, and no new deadline was set. The WTO chief nevertheless stressed that all...
7 May 2010
WTO reform is not about strengthening a weak or bad organisation. Instead, it is about improving an already good institution. However, I equally believe that those who wish to deny or delay any and all reform will inadvertently weaken the institution over time, and erode its international relevance...
7 May 2010
Professor Howse suggests progress could be made by setting aside ‘harder' issues on the agenda. But he does not say, nor is it obvious, which are the ‘easier' ones on which agreements are ripe for the picking. If agriculture, the toughest nut of all, were off the table, would the G-20 be more...
7 May 2010
Ambassador David Walker, the chair of the farm negotiations, started his report by reviewing the ten areas in which he had held consultations on substantive differences. No forward movement has occurred on how to reduce cotton subsidies more ‘ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically' than those...
7 May 2010
Many of the goods proposed for tariff elimination/reduction relate to energy-efficiency and climate change mitigation. The submissions were tabled in response to the chair's request that countries start identifying specific goods in which they have a trade interest. Philippines Emphasises Renewable...
7 May 2010
First, continuing with the current process of ‘more of the same' is likely to result in increasing frustration amongst Members and in a debilitation of the process as they retreat on current positions, leading to a de facto suspension of the negotiations. Second, new and creative ways will have to...
7 May 2010
The latest official notification to the WTO shows that total EU support levels have returned to levels not seen since the previous decade, with €90.7 billion of support being reported to the global trade body for 2006/2007 - up from €75.6 billion in 2002, when support was at its lowest in the last...
7 May 2010
The centrepiece of the agreement is a US$147.3 million annual fund, which will provide technical assistance and capacity-building for the Brazilian cotton sector. By mutual agreement, the money may also be used for ‘activities related to international co-operation' in the cotton sector in sub-...
7 May 2010
At issue is the Unites States' use of ‘zeroing' - a method that inflates dumping margins - in anti-dumping investigations despite a myriad of panel and Appellate Body reports condemning the practice. The EU claims that its exporters of steel, ball bearings, chemicals and pasta are particularly...
7 May 2010
Shoes - China has requested a dispute settlement panel on anti-dumping duties imposed by the European Union on Chinese leather shoes. Beijing launched the complaint after the EU decided in December to prolong for another 15 months duties initially imposed in October 2006. Brussels has defended the...
7 May 2010
The WTO secretariat's trade policy reviews (TPRs) contain long sections on the tariffs, subsidies and anti-dumping duties in place in the country under scrutiny. Dealing with these instruments is a gratifying since it is relatively easy to calculate average tariffs, add up subsidies and count anti-...
7 May 2010
In the negotiations for the free trade agreement between the United States and Central American countries (DR-CAFTA), Nicaraguan business - with a focus on the privatisation of national industries, deregulation of capital investment and growth in export-oriented activities - was strengthened vis-à-...
7 May 2010
In 2008, the EU was the Andean Community's second largest trading partner after the US, but the region only accounted for 0.6 percent of EU imports. The trade is heavily lopsided with farm, fuel and mining products accounting for nearly 90 percent of Andean exports, while about the same percentage...
7 May 2010
Contrary to the perception of most WTO Members, the 2010 Trade Policy Agenda released by the Office of the US Trade Representative on 1 March depicts the United States as the leader of efforts to put the Doha Round onto a ‘path of success' after repeated failures to agree on a framework package of...
7 May 2010
The European Commission said its 2 March decision to authorise the cultivation of the genetically engineered Amflora potato was based on repeated favourable opinions from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Only one other GM crop, the MON18 maize variety, has ever been approved for...
7 May 2010
The countries involved in the negotiations are Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the US. At first glance, the draft appears to bear out their claims that ACTA would not require participants to change their intellectual property...
7 May 2010
Monaco had proposed to list Atlantic bluefin in CITES Appendix I, which covers flora and fauna on the brink of extinction. International trade in Appendix I species is prohibited, but can be resumed at a later stage if member governments agree that populations have recovered to the point where...
7 May 2010
Rising greenhouse gas emissions - mostly resulting from human activity - not only threaten our environment, but undermine development and have dramatic and negative consequences for our economic and social well-being, with the most negative effects being felt by the poor. In order to not compromise...
7 May 2010
Governments have already started to downplay the possibility of reaching agreement on a legally binding global climate treaty this year. For instance, EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard warned in March that trying to force a deal at the December 2010 Conference of the Parties, to be...
7 May 2010
Fish is the most internationally traded food commodity, with tropical shrimp among the most valuable products. In addition to their value in trade, fisheries-related activities provide an important source of employment, export revenue and food security to many African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)...
7 May 2010
On 5 April, Brazil surprised the world by announcing a temporary elimination of its 20 percent import tariff on ethanol until 31 December 2011. The main motive behind the move was to encourage the United States to follow suit, but that outcome looks unlikely. Bipartisan bills have already been...
7 May 2010
WTO Meetings May 18 Committee on Trade and Development May 18 Dispute Settlement Body May 19 Council on Trade in Goods May 31 Trade Policy Review Body - China June 4 Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance June 6-8 TRIPS Council June 14-15 Committee on Regional Trade Agreements June 22 Dispute...
7 May 2010
Selected Documents Circulated at the WTO Agriculture. 28 January 2010. Refocusing Discussions on the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM): Outstanding Issues and Concerns on its Design and Structure. Submission by the G-33. (TN/AG/GEN/30) Dispute Settlement. 8 February 2010. European Union - Anti-...
7 May 2010
In 2009, total net official development assistance (ODA)from the donors in the OECD's Development Assistance Committee rose 0.7 percent in real terms, but the increase was 6.8 percent if debt relief is excluded. Net bilateral aid to sub-Saharan Africa was US$24 billion, up by 5.1 percent from 2008...