Today, as Ministers meet to further a controversial and little known proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) on the sidelines of the annual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting, Wikileaks released (wikileaks.org/tisa/) a trove of negotiating texts, including annexes covering a wide range of issues on domestic regulation, financial services, air and maritime transportation, electronic commerce, transparency, telecommunications, professional services, and the natural movement of persons (called “Mode4” in trade agreements.)
In this Jakarta Post article Iman Pambagyo, Indonesian ambassador in charge of the WTO, strongly criticizes non-transparent negotiations process followed by developed countries and Roberto Azevedo, Director General of WTO to define the Post Bali Work Programme towards 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, later this year. He also called upon the ministers from the developing to insist strongly that the conversations in Geneva should be inclusive, transparent and flexibility for developing countries is a must.
The World Trade Organisation's Director-General Roberto Azevedo is apparently upset that his meetings with trade envoys from seven developed and developing countries to discuss the benchmarks in the market access pillars of agriculture and industrial goods for concluding the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations by the end of this year are being reported in some publications, including SUNS, according to people familiar with the development.
In a scenario more reminiscent of the bad old days of the pre-WTO trading system, of very restricted "green room" meetings, where a few developing countries are sought to be isolated and pressured to force down an accord on the membership, the WTO DG Mr. Roberto Azevedo has been apparently having closed-door meetings with trade envoys from the United States, the European Union, China, India, Brazil, Australia, and Japan.
A meeting of the WTO Committee on the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) on 8 May heard a number of participants calling for the rapid conclusion of the negotiations on the expansion of product coverage under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). There was no agreement, and the next meeting of the Committee is set for October 2015.
A large majority of developing countries on Thursday (7 May) firmly rejected demands from the United States, the European Union, and other developed countries for binding the autonomous liberalisation measures taken by them in the services sectors after the Uruguay Round of commitments.
The developing countries made clear that they are not willing to undertake "commitments for free" in the Doha services negotiations, several services negotiators told SUNS.
An informal meeting of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services on 7 May showed continuing differences among members, with key developing countries making clear that progress on agriculture and the US-EU concessions therein will be the yardstick for progress in other areas of the Doha negotiations.
In this interview, Deborah James of OWINFS spoke about the ongoing tussle in the WTO around the question of food security. This debate is germane to India, whose government played a role at the last WTO meeting.
The WTO Director-General, Mr. Roberto Azevedo, appears to have attempted Tuesday (5 May) to tweak the Doha trade talks by dumping the "sequencing" framework, thus enabling the US to avoid answering tough questions on domestic support in agriculture for concluding the negotiations and ensuring a successful Nairobi Ministerial Conference.
The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has called on WTO members to move forward on implementing the Bali Ministerial Decision of 7 December 2013 on preferential rules of origin for the LDCs. This call came at a meeting of the WTO Committee on Rules of Origin (CRO) on 30 April.