Sangeeta Shashikant, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar06/11)
The final day of the WIPO open forum on patents saw heated exchanges on the impact of patents and 'flexibilities' of the system on access to medicines, as well as an interesting debate on whether genes and life forms should be patented.
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).
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.
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.
Goh Chien Yen, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar06/6)
WTO members remain sharply divided on the industrial tariff negotiations, as the NAMA consultations stretched late into Wednesday 1 March evening. One of the main areas of contention appears to be over the special and differential treatment (S&D) to be accorded to developing countries, as stipulated in paragraph 8 of Annex B to the July 2004 Framework.
Even as the talks for the Doha Round negotiations escalate to their most critical point, and there is a flurry of activity in Geneva with more frequent 'negotiating weeks' in agriculture, NAMA and services, many have the distinct feel that the real negotiations are taking place outside Geneva amongst 6 - 10 Members.
Senior trade officials of an 11 country group yesterday failed to narrow their differences on how to achieve 'ambitious' market access opportunities in the Doha Development Agenda industrials negotiations a result that could place this weekend's London trade ministerial summit in jeopardy, WTD was told.
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).