The United States this week succeeded in softening the demands of a draft ministerial declaration with respect to cutting its domestic cotton subsidies after many intense meetings with ministers from five West African countries demanding the elimination of these trade- distorting payments.
The unholy trio of the EU, US and Pascal Lamy succeeded in their attempt to force developing countries into accepting a Ministerial Declaration that further forecloses the development of countries of the South
The Doha Development Round of WTO negotiations was supposed to be precisely that - a chance to put the needs of developing nations at the centre of trade reforms in a bid to ease poverty and provide increased opportunities for the world's poorest.
In finalizing the HK Ministerial the most contentious issue on agriculture and cotton is on export subsidies and a trade-distorting export subsidy. Thus the central question is: what is an export subsidy and a trade-distorting export subsidy?
media advisory: Although a face-saving deal was reached on trade issues here today, the global trade system remains in crisis. Today's agreement contains proposals that will further threaten the global environment and the livelihoods of the worlds' poorest people.
The new draft WTO 6th Ministerial text released today still attacks Third World agriculture, industry and services without making any real headway against First World subsidies and protections for domestic producers