Building Comprehensive and Effective WTO Rules on Fisheries Subsidies

Brief
Date period
9 April 2018

At the WTO’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference in December 2017, ministers adopted a Decision on Fisheries Subsidies (WT/MIN(17)/64) directing negotiators to continue talks with a view to adopting an agreement by 2019, the year of the next ministerial conference. The ministerial decision also specifically re-commits WTO members to implementing their existing notification obligations in order to strengthen transparency of the subsidies provided to fishing. Reaching a comprehensive and effective outcome will require solutions that respond to the many technical and legal questions the negotiations have brought up. This overview paper provides a synthesis of the key elements of evidence and analysis set out in the papers compiled in the ICTSD book Fisheries Subsidies Rules at the WTO: A compilation of Evidence and Analysis, with reference to some of the main current issues in the negotiation.