News

Transparency by others, secrecy for WTO

Original Publication Date: 
25 May, 2015
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.

Concern among developing countries on WTO DG consultations

Original Publication Date: 
22 May, 2015
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.

Participants call for rapid conclusion of talks on ITA expansion

Original Publication Date: 
18 May, 2015
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.

South nixes US, EU call for binding autonomous services liberalisation

Original Publication Date: 
15 May, 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.

Differences among WTO members on services component of post-Bali work

Original Publication Date: 
15 May, 2015
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.

‘Expose U.S. hypocrisy in WTO talks’

Original Publication Date: 
13 May, 2015
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.

Dumping sequencing or agri-reform process in WTO Doha Round?

Original Publication Date: 
11 May, 2015
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.

Implement Bali Rules of Origin decision, say LDCs

Original Publication Date: 
11 May, 2015
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.

North-South divide in WTO services talks

Original Publication Date: 
8 May, 2015
A large majority of developing and least-developed countries at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have demanded that the Annex C of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration must remain the basis for drawing-up the post-Bali work programme on services, according to trade envoys familiar with the non-attributable summary issued by the chair of the Doha services negotiations on 27 April.

South against Doha "re-calibration", jettisoning "development"

Original Publication Date: 
6 May, 2015
A large majority of developing countries appear to have disapproved of the "re-calibration" strategy in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations, being promoted by the WTO head, Roberto Azevedo, and the industrialised countries, that will change the existing goalposts of the talks, to the detriment of its "development goals".

Agriculture: WTO Members still far from convergence on key issues, says Chair

Original Publication Date: 
30 April, 2015
The Doha trade talks and efforts to reach an accord on a post-Bali work programme are stuck on agriculture issues of domestic support and market access, with members standing firm on their positions and are a "long way" to meet the July deadline, the Chair of the agriculture negotiations said on 24 April.

D-G must come clean on previous mandates on Doha

Original Publication Date: 
30 April, 2015
In the background of informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee convened for 27 April Chakravarthi Raghavan argues that the large majority of developing countries hope WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo will come clean on what he intends to do with the previous mandates on the Doha Round talks, and whether in fact he intends to dump them as the US wants, and drastically change the special and differential treatment provisions in agriculture for developing countries in order to open their markets to heavily subsidised agri-exports of the US.

Proposals put forward on services pillar of post-Bali work

Original Publication Date: 
24 April, 2015
An informal meeting of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services on Monday (20 April), amongst others, heard proposals from some Members on defining the services component of the post-Bali work programme on the remaining Doha Development Agenda (DDA) issues. Members also agreed that the services component of the work programme should include market access and rule-making for services trade, with the market access negotiations needing to move in parallel with the rule- making part of the services agenda.

G-33 insist on SSM, reject developed-country demands to drop it

Original Publication Date: 
24 April, 2015
Members of the G-33 farm coalition, seeking better terms for low-income and subsistence farmers in the developing countries, have severely criticised attempts to deny the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) for curbing the unforeseen surges in imports of agricultural products from heavily subsidised beneficiaries of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) under the Marrakesh Treaty negotiated during the Uruguay Round.

Our World is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network members' demonstration at WTO MC9 Bali 2013

Our World is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network members' demonstration at WTO MC9 Bali 2013.

Why “Trade in Services Agreement” (TISA) is dangerous to democracy, development, and the public interest?

Original Publication Date: 
1 March, 2015
This OWINFS briefing paper provides an overview of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). It analyses various critical issues involved in the TISA negotiations and explains why it is dangerous to democracy, development and the public interest. It also provides various ways to stop the proposed TISA from ever existing.

Towards an International Secret Agreement (TISA) on Financial Services?

Original Publication Date: 
1 October, 2014
This OWINFS network's brief on the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), explains how the proposed TISA push more dangerous deregulatory policies on Financial services and endangers future financial regulatory capacity of governments.

Sharp "asymmetries" in levels of ambition emerge in TiSA talks

Original Publication Date: 
20 April, 2015
As the technical experts and negotiators engaged in the controversial plurilateral initiative on Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) prepare a report on their overall progress during the last three years, it has emerged that there will be sharp "asymmetries" in the levels of ambition in different services sectors, according to several members familiar with the negotiations. In this brief D Ravi Kanth provides an overview of levels of ambition in current TISA negotiations,

LDCs assess high-level meeting on LDC services waiver

Original Publication Date: 
27 March, 2015
According to trade officials, at the regular meeting of the Council for Trade in Services on 18 March, the LDCs, in their presentation, assessed the high-level meeting that was held on 5 February, in which number of developed country members and developing country members in a position to do so had indicated the services sectors and modes of supply where they intend to provide preferential treatment to the LDCs.