Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an outcome on public stockholding programmes for food security at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ministerial meeting next month in Nairobi has almost been spiked after the US, the European Union, Canada and Australia ruled out any change from the existing interim arrangement.
The city of Zurich has voted to declare itself a TISA-free zone, in a move which emphasizes a growing resistance to the secret trade talks. A proposal introduced to the Zurich Communal Council by the Green Party was passed by a firm majority and could help to establish a precedent for other regions across Europe who may hope to do the same.
As the countdown for the tenth Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held in Nairobi, Kenya through 15-18 December commences, Shalini Bhutani emphasises the need for a cautious deliberation on how trade rules affect key sectors and all stakeholders.
The United States and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at the World Trade Organization have reached agreement ad referendum on a pharmaceutical patent exemption for a duration of 17 years, according to trade diplomats. With this exemption, the world’s poorest nations will not be obliged “to implement or apply” or “to enforce” patents as well as test data protection for pharmaceutical products until 1 January 2033.
The United States and Switzerland want the right to file complaints for loss of trade ‘benefits’ even against countries whose intellectual property rights laws are fully consistent with international agreements
The US has demanded ‘safe harbor’ protection for its controversial farm export credit programme from the disciplines underpinning the World Trade Organization’s agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures despite denying such a flexibility to India and other developing countries for public stockholding programmes for food security last year.
The United States’ offer to least developed countries of a 10-year transition period to grant pharmaceutical patents is “unconscionable and indefensible”, according to six influential US non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In a letter dated 19 October to President Barack Obama, the NGOs conveyed this strong criticism in view of the public health and other developmental challenges facing least developed countries (LDCs).
On 5 September 2015 a very large majority of the Frente Amplio, the governing political coalition in Uruguay voted against continuing to be part of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations taking place in Geneva. These plurilateral negotiations are taking part outside the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its General Agreement on Services (GATS) and have generated concerns over the adverse impacts of the type of services liberalization pushed for by developed countries led by the United States, the European Union and Australia.
Assessing US's position in WTO negotiations on permanent solution to the public stock-holding issue in food security, Timothy A. Wise and Biraj Patnaik argue that 'it is hypocritical of the US to give price support to its farmers while denying it to the world’s poorest farmers'.
It is increasingly evident that the TiSA negotiations are an attempt to pressure developing countries to grant greater liberalisation in sectors of interest to the US and other industrialised countries, without the latter having to pay any price for it.
Several developing countries on Wednesday (July 8) expressed their frustration with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo's announcement that the work program with precise modalities for concluding the Doha Development Round (DDR) trade negotiations will not be delivered by end-July.
The Frontlines Initiative is a joint project of four national public sector unions - the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) - which joins forces with sister unions in Colombia to fight against the privatization of public services and to strengthen each other’s struggles to defend human and labour rights. The delegation in Colombia received an important briefing on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), a proposed international trade treaty that, if ratified, will put public services in Colombia, Canada and 48 other countries at extreme risk.
Negotiations in the WTO are heating up – and they are going badly. In November last year, WTO members agreed to come up with a “Work Program” for resurrecting the Doha Round by July 31. In this article Deborah James of OWINFS network articulates civil society position on recent developments in WTO negotiations.
Some 341 global civil society organisations (CSOs) on Wednesday underlined that if the upcoming tenth ministerial conference (MC10) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya is to be a "success", it must deliver on development and turn around the WTO.
Today, 341 global civil society organizations – including development advocates, trade unions, farmers’ organizations, consumer and environmental groups from over 100 countries – sent a letter to WTO members today urging them to abandon the WTO expansion talks and instead focus on an urgent agenda to fix existing damaging rules in the WTO.
341 organizations of civil society from over 100 countries of the global North and South, as consumer groups, environmentalists, trade unions, farmers, and other development advocates, have sent a letter to WTO members regarding the wrong direction of the current WTO talks, and urged the governments to substantially turnaround the negotiations in advance of the December Ministerial in Nairobi.
One day after it leaked a trove of documents related to the massive, pro-corporate Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), WikiLeaks on Thursday published another four chapters of the proposed 52-nation trade deal, covering key areas ahead of the next negotiating round on Monday.
The draft TISA Annex on domestic regulation restricts the ability of TiSA states to enact regulations which affect the international trade in services, or which are deemed incompatible with the market philosophy underlying TiSA. WikiLeaks has previously published an earlier version of this Annex. The April 2015 text dates from shortly after the 12th round of TiSA negotiations held from 13-17 April 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.