Call for Concrete Proposals in World Trade Talks

GLOBAL - A new paper from the World Trade Organisation on the latest stage of the Doha round of the global trade talks has shown that just one country might have to make changes to its domestic support if the current proposals remain on the table.
calendar icon 9 February 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

From the papers examined by the trade negotiators, just the US would have to change, according to the WTO report.

However, the chairman of the negotiations John Adank, has said that the views of the negotiators for easing market access are too vague.

“My really strong advice to you all as we leave this meeting is please get more concrete with each other, because if we stay in this sea of generalities we’re probably not going to get that far,” said the New Zealand chairman, Mr Adank.

He said he would consult agriculture negotiators in a variety of formats.

The latest round of opinions came in the first agriculture negotiations meeting of the year, which saw members examine numbers on domestic support, calculated from the main draft currently on the table, and start to consider what they might have to concede in exchange for ambitious cuts.

With the tight schedule that members have set for themselves in mind, Mr Adank said he was encouraged by the new paper and subsequent discussion that explored concrete situations rather than focusing on generalities, but he was less enthusiastic when the talks turned to market access.

On the discussion on the new domestic support paper, he said: “This is really new territory for us to venture into, but it’s necessary that we start this exploration.”

He added: “It does remind us that we have to get very, very concrete about both what our individual situations are in terms of our policy settings, and what that actually means to what we can contribute to the discussion.”

WTO is targeting July 2015 for agreeing on a work programme for concluding the Doha Round talks.

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