The whole world is watching as world leaders from nearly every country across the globe meet in Paris this week to set carbon emission reductions targets to address global climate change.
Unfortunately representatives of 50 of the same governments are also meeting this week in Geneva to negotiate binding rules that will seriously constrain countries’ ability to meet those targets.
The new leaked text of the Annexes on Energy and Environmental Services for the Trade in Services Agreement was published by Wikileaks on the 3rd of December. TiSA is being negotiated by 22 countries representing 70% of global trade behind closed doors in a secret room in Geneva while all eyes are on Paris where UN public talks are in full swing to design a new climate regime.
Don't buy the spin: The WTO talks in Nairobi ended badly and India will pay a price India's Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, invited into a select group to negotiate the final text of the Nairobi agreement, let the rich countries have their way.
Last week, 453 civil society groups including trade unions, farmers, environmentalists, public interest groups and development advocates from over 150 countries wrote an urgent letter to members of the WTO to “express extreme alarm about the current situation of the negotiations in the WTO.” This is the largest number of endorsers on a letter about the WTO in the last decade and is a signal of the dire situation
India’s demand that the World Trade Organization (WTO) take steps, on a priority basis, to safeguard the interests of poor farmers as well as the food security programmes in developing countries has received support within the U.S.
USA’s price suppression and market distortions in cotton is threatening Indian and African producers.
As we approach the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial on December 15-18 in Nairobi, India is leading a group of developing countries insisting that the development goals promised in Doha in 2001 be achieved. On the other hand, the US, European Union (EU) and Japan have called for a “recalibration” of that agenda, one that leaves agriculture largely off the table. India is right to lead the fight for reforms in developed countries’ agricultural policies.
Cotton should be at the centre of those reforms. A recent study suggests that US subsidies under the 2014 Farm Bill will continue to suppress global cotton prices. Recognising this threat, Africa’s so-called Cotton 4 (or C-4) – Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad – tabled a proposal in October calling on the US and other WTO members to make good on the longstanding commitment to address the cotton issue.
In a letter to USTR Michael Froman, US civil society groups urged US government to support a transparent and inclusive multilateral process to resolve these pressing issues. U.S. trade policy should enhance countries’ rights to feed their peoples. It should not advance negotiations that leave most countries out of decisions that they then may have to adopt as a fait accompli at a later time.
As members of 453 civil society organizations including trade unions, environmentalists, farmers, development advocates, and public interest groups from over 150 countries, we are writing today to express extreme alarm about the current situation of the negotiations in the WTO. We urge you to take seriously the need for the upcoming Nairobi Ministerial to change existing WTO rules to make the global trading system more compatible with people-centered development, and to forestall efforts by some developed countries to abandon the development agenda and replace it with a set of so-called “new issues” that actually are non-trade issues that would impact deeply on domestic economies and constrain national policy space required for development and public interest.
Today, Thursday, December 3, 10am EST, WikiLeaks releases new secret documents from the huge Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for 2/3rds of global GDP. Coinciding with the ongoing climate talks in Paris, today's publication touches on issues of crucial relevance including the regulation of energy, industrial development, workers' rights and the natural environment. WikiLeaks is also publishing expert analyses of the documents.
The United States, the European Union, Australia, and Brazil on Tuesday (24 November) blocked a major deliverable concerning the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) for the developing countries at the World Trade Organization's tenth ministerial meeting in Nairobi beginning on December 15, several trade envoys told the SUNS.
The United States, the European Union, Australia, and other countries have nearly scuppered an outcome for the proposed permanent solution for public stockholding programs for food security purposes as demanded by 47 developing countries at the upcoming ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi next month, several trade envoys told the SUNS.
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.