Articles

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.

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,

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.

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.

TISA: leaked document reveals secret talks to promote health “tourism” and privatisation

Original Publication Date: 
3 February, 2015
The proposal, reportedly tabled by the government of Turkey, was discussed by EU member states last September at the Geneva TISA negotiations. It suggests an annex on health care services in the TISA that would promote offshoring by facilitating patients’ travel abroad to access health services.

Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security and net neutrality

Original Publication Date: 
17 December, 2014
Based on a set of leaked US TISA proposal, Prof. Jane Kelsey argues that '‘the US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’'

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.

UNCTAD Secretary General Mr M. Kituyi Respond to Global Civil Society Letter on the Role of UNCTAD on Investment Issues

Original Publication Date: 
23 October, 2014
In this response to global civil society groups letter, UNCTAD Secretary General Mr M. Kituyi's share the concerns of global civil society groups on the implications of current investment regime and expressed hope that proposed reforms of international investment agreements and investor state dispute settlement system (ISDS) will help to improve them system.

Open TISA to public debate, say experts at first global forum

Original Publication Date: 
18 October, 2014
"Open TISA to public debate", was the key demand of the participants at the first Global Trade in Services Forum, in Geneva on 17th October 2014, co-organised by Public Services International (PSI), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network.

Presentations: From GATS to TISA - Global Trade in Services Forum, Geneva, 17 October, 2014

Original Publication Date: 
18 October, 2014
On 17 October 2014, Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network organised, "Global Trade in Services Forum - From GATS to TISA", in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Public Services International (PSI). Large number of trade unionists from public and private sector, government representatives, global experts and civil society representatives will take part in the vent.

Implications of International Investment Agreements: UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2014 Event

Original Publication Date: 
15 October, 2014
The number of disputes brought by investors under international investment agreements (IIAs) has been steadily increasing. This event organized by OWINFS, TWN and Public Citizen at the UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2014 looks at the implications of these disputes for sustainable development, and will discuss actual case studies in particular areas.