Trade chiefs of the United States, the European Union, Brazil, India, Australia and Japan are planning a busy two days today and Saturday in an effort to reach some accommodations on the most difficult issues in three central areas of the Doha Development Agenda whose outcome could indicate whether full modalities in the agriculture and industrials negotiations can be wrapped up by the end of next month, WTD was told (WTD, 3/9/06).
Sangeeta Shashikant, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar06/10)
Basic problems and practical difficulties in the attempt by WIPO members to globally harmonise patent laws were highlighted on the second day of the WIPO open forum on its draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) on 2 March.
Below are links to two letters from different U.S. textile industry groups. The first one calls for a sectoral on textiles that would provide special treatment for the textile sector by resurrecting protection in the textile and apparel sectors.
Kanaga Raja, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar06/7)
The Negotiating Group on Market Access for Non- Agricultural Products (NAMA) at a week-long meeting (ending Friday, 3 March), discussed sectoral initiatives, flexibilities for developing countries and paragraph 24 of the Hong Kong Declaration that calls for a comparably high level of ambition in market access for agriculture and NAMA.
Doha Development Agenda nonagricultural market access negotiations chairman Don Stephenson yesterday said members have only a 'small window' for reaching agreement by the end of April on what he called core elements of an agreement a formula, treatment of unbound tariffs and 'paragraph eight' flexibilities for developing countries.
A link to a letter from the U.S. textile industry calling for a sectoral on textiles under the NAMA negotiations. The proposal is for the complete elimination of tariffs in the textile sector. It was sent to the Chair of the NAMA negotiations in advance of last week's NAMA negotiations. Industry groups from Europe and the U.S. made presentations to WTO members to establish a sectoral on textiles. (Some are in favour of zero tariffs and others in favour of lesser tariff cuts). Apparently the EU convened the meeting as a way to intensify differences between developing countries (between those that currently receive preferences on textiles and those who don't).
US Trade Representative Rob Portman and visiting Australian Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile agreed yesterday that Saturday's Group-of-Six ministerial meeting in London will be crucial to the timely outcome of the Doha Development Agenda (WTD, 3/7/06).
The chairman of the World Trade Organization's negotiating group on non-agricultural market access (NAMA) warned March 7 that the window of opportunity was rapidly closing for a deal in the sector which would allow the Doha Round to be completed by the end of 2006.
Martin Khor, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar06/5)
Negotiations on non agricultural market access (NAMA) will be taking place all this week at the WTO. Among the topics scheduled for discussion are flexibilities for developing countries, the link between agriculture and NAMA negotiations, non-tariff barriers and sectoral initiatives.
It seems times have changed. Information technology is out and agriculture is in. The thrust on agriculture is now enshrined in the draft of the Indo-US Knowledge initiative on Agricultural Research & Education, which is the agenda for US President George Bush when he comes to India in March 2006.