WTO Process Issues

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.

South faces uphill fight on food security, commitments on Bali decisions

Original Publication Date: 
9 April, 2015
Towards 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015, Chakravarthi Raghavan provides detailed analysis of critical issues faced by developing countries at the WTO to ensure a permanent solution to food security issues and translate into binding commitments the 'best endeavour' decisions of the 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference.

Farmers and CSOs express concern over WTO conditionalities on India's agricultural subsidy regime

Original Publication Date: 
25 November, 2014
Indian farmers organizations and civil society groups expressed serious concern over India - US agreement over public stockholding issue at the WTO negotiation. In a letter to commerce minister they argued that Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) needs to be rejected not only as a strategy but on its own lack of merit.

Global civil society letter to WTO members regarding public food stockholding programs

Delivery date: 
24 November, 2014
In the backdrop of agreement between India and US on public stockholdings for food security purposes this Global civil society letter highlights that the current solution is inadequate and calls upon WTO members to ensure that developing countries’ and LDCs’ interests are not sacrificed in the current negotiations and at the special General Council meeting on 26 November 2014 in order to clear the path for the TFA.

US and allies ‘strike work' on post-Bali, Doha Round

Original Publication Date: 
24 September, 2014
The United States and its close ‘allies' in industrialised countries, appear to be bent on continuing their campaign to paralyse all negotiations and talks at the WTO - on the other parts of the Bali package, a post-Bali work programme, and the Doha Round - by refusing ‘to work' on other issues, until the US-EU cherished protocol on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is agreed to and delivered. In this SUNS - South North Development Monitor article By Chakravarthi Raghavan analyses latest state of play in WTO negotiations and US & allies' negotiation strategies.

Misplaced claims of deadline sanctity for TFA

Original Publication Date: 
31 July, 2014
In this timely article one of the most sensible commentator on trade policy issues of our time, throws more light on misplaced claims of deadline sanctity for Trade Facilitation Agreement in the backdrop of US-WTO propaganda about the missed deadline for the adoption of a Protocol of Amendment to incorporate the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) into Annex 1A of the Marrakesh agreement.

Indian farmers organizations call upon the Government to stand firm on food security issue at the WTO

Original Publication Date: 
23 July, 2014
In a statement released ahead of the WTO General Council meeting tomorrow, farmers organization in India called upon the Indian Government to stand firm on linking the Food Security proposal with the Trade Facilitation Agreement in WTO. Farmers’ leaders expressed shock over the Chair's summary of the G 20 trade ministers meeting which was held on July 19 at Sydney.

Indian Farmers' Statement on India's Stand at the WTO - 23 July 2014

Delivery date: 
23 July, 2014
In a statement released ahead of the WTO General Council meeting tomorrow, farmers organization in India called upon the Indian Government to stand firm on linking the Food Security proposal with the Trade Facilitation Agreement in WTO. Farmers’ leaders expressed shock over the Chair's summary of the G 20 trade ministers meeting which was held on July 19 at Sydney.

Future of WTO Negotiations Hangs in the Balance at G20 Trade Ministers' Meeting

Original Publication Date: 
19 July, 2014
In the backdrop of G20 trade ministers meeting on July 19 at Sydney, Deborah James writes on various critical issues that are important for developing countries and least developed countries as this meeting can be used to build consensus toward positions that can be brought back to forums where decisions can be enforced, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).

As G20 trade ministers meet in Sydney, international CSOs urge that development must come before “Trade Facilitation” in WTO

Original Publication Date: 
18 July, 2014
In the backdrop of trade ministers meet in Sydney, today, 164 civil society organizations and trade unions from more than 150 developing and developed countries urged government representatives in Geneva to “condition the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to the conclusion and fulfillment of the Development mandate under the Doha negotiations.”