warns against going to Cancun with “overloaded agenda” back to top
Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his report (Download in Word format,
3 pages, 44 KB)
to the General Council meeting on
10-13 December 2002 as Chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee,
said that “we have made progress on all fronts, but in an uneven
way, and perhaps not as quickly as we needed to”. He stressed that
“we definitely cannot afford to go to Cancun with an overloaded
agenda and with too many unresolved issues”.
future TNC meetings, Dr. Supachai said that he was looking at ways on
engendering “a more interactive type of discussion at our meetings,
turning general statements into more specific ones, with the aim of
clarifying positions and moving towards convergence”.
outstanding implementation issues considered by nine WTO bodies during
the course of the year pursuant to the Doha Ministerial Declaration,
the Director-General said that “despite all the hard work that had
been done, members did not seem to have reached agreement on
definitive solutions on most the issues before them”. He said he
would consult informally on possible next steps.
of TNC meeting
(Download in Word format, 2 pages, 30 KB)
General Council, on 11 December 2002, met as the Trade Policy Review
Body to conduct the annual overview of developments in international
trade and the trading environment required under the Trade Policy
Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his first annual report to members on
developments in the international trading environment released on 15
November 2002, underlined the economic benefits of successful
market-access negotiations in both goods and services, especially to
developing countries. Serious obstacles to trade, he said, remain in
agriculture, textiles and other manufactures.
report by the Director-General (Download in Word format, 46 pages,
Director-General, in a speech (The Doha Development Agenda:
Challenges Ahead) on 26 November 2002 during a conference on
globalization at the University of Leuven, Belgium said that “uncertainty
in the world economy, combined with growing international tension, has
overshadowed the new Round and weakened the cause of multilateral
cooperation — yet this is precisely why the WTO's success (in
Cancún) is so vital”.
his keynote address (Agriculture and the Doha Development Agenda)
to the World Food and Farming Congress in London on 25 November 2002,
said that along with textiles and a few other sectors, “trade
liberalization in agriculture is probably the single most important
contribution the multilateral trading system can make to help
developing countries, including the poorest among them, to trade their
way out of poverty”.
Council approves accession of Armenia back to top
WTO’s General Council, on 10 December 2002, approved the accession
package of Armenia to the World Trade Organization. Director-General
Supachai said that “this is a very significant event for Armenia and
for the multilateral trading system”.
> Press release
member governments approved guidelines which should facilitate the
integration of the world’s poorest countries into the global economy
by streamlining their accession procedures into the WTO. The
Director-General said “the decision represents a major breakthrough
and substantively contributes to facilitating the accession of LDCs to
> Press release
Cambodia’s bid to join the WTO has moved into a final phase
following a meeting of its WTO Accession Working Party on 14 November 2002. The Secretariat has been asked to draft the working party’s
report in time for a meeting in the spring of 2003. Cambodia and WTO
members in the working party said they aim to complete the membership
deal by the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún, 10-14
> News item
its December meeting, the General Council approved a range of
measures, including streamlined WTO accession for the world’s
poorest countries and greater clarity in the selection of future
directors-general and chairpersons for WTO councils and committees.
> Press release
General Council approved a new budget which includes salary
adjustments and a commitment to further work on a more permanent
method of calculating salaries. Chairperson Sergio Marchi described
elements of “an objective and credible process” for achieving a
fair outcome. Statements were also made by Director-General Supachai
Panitchpakdi and the WTO Staff Council.
of the meeting
(Download in Word format, 4 pages, 43 KB)
reviews trade policies of Hong Kong, China; Venezuela; and Japan back to top
members concluded their review of trade policies of Hong Kong, China;
Venezuela; and Japan on 8 November, 29 November and 18 December,
commended Hong Kong, China for maintaining one of the most open
economies in the world, one which many members should seek to emulate.
They congratulated Hong Kong, China for its active role in the WTO,
including its strong support for the Doha Development Agenda.
said that Venezuela's growing reliance on the petroleum sector has
resulted in a narrow export base and eroded the competitiveness of
other sectors. They encouraged Venezuela's ongoing efforts to
diversify its export markets and products.
encouraged Japan to press ahead with reforms, through, among other
things, further financial and corporate restructuring, improved market
access (particularly in agriculture) and stronger competition policy.
They underlined the importance of Japan's economic health for the
world economy, and its leadership in the WTO.
given more time to implement “hot-rolled steel” ruling back to top
Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), on 5 December 2002, agreed to extend
the reasonable period of time by which the United States must
implement the DSB’s rulings and recommendations in the case
concerning its antidumping measures on certain hot-rolled steel
products from Japan. Meanwhile, on 28 November 2002, Ecuador and
Turkey announced that they had found a mutually agreed solution in
their dispute concerning bananas and certain fruits.
WTO issued reports on the following cases:
Appellate Body, on 9 December 2002, issued its report
(DS212/AB/R), which reversed the Panel's conclusion that the
relevant internal United States legislation is inconsistent with
the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, but upheld
the Panel's finding that the United States had acted
inconsistently with that Agreement by imposing and maintaining
countervailing measures on steel products from privatized steel
companies in the European Communities without determining whether
subsidies continued to exist. Mr. James Bacchus, Chairman of the
Appellate Body, has sent a letter to the Chairman of the Dispute
Settlement Body, regarding the effect of the work-to-rule action
by the WTO Secretariat on the distribution of this report.
Download the Appellate Body report in Word
in pdf format (78
WTO issued, on 29 November 2002, the report of a panel (DS141/RW)
that found the EC to have implemented a previous recommendation to
bring its anti-dumping duties on imports of cotton-type bed linen
from India into conformity with the Anti-Dumping Agreement. Download
the panel report
WTO issued, on 28 November 2002, the report of the Appellate Body
(DS213/AB/R) regarding the panel report on the EC complaint, against
the US, relating to a sunset review of countervailing duties on
certain corrosion-resistant carbon steel flat products from Germany.
the Appellate Body report
and twenty-second regular Trade Policy Courses come to a close back to top
three-month courses held in parallel at the WTO concluded on 6 December 2002,
providing 58 trade officials from developing and least-developed
countries a better understanding of the WTO Agreements and
trade-related topics. Presiding over a joint diploma ceremony on
behalf of the Director-General, Deputy Director-General Rufus Yerxa
reminded participants that “knowledge is power, but knowledge is
WTO’s technical assistance programme on Trade and Investment
continued on 1-2 December 2002 with a special workshop for
capital-based officials from 21 African countries. The Workshop has
been organised by the WTO Secretariat in cooperation with UNCTAD, and
with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
> Press release
government officials from least-developed countries partipated in the
Second Introduction Course on WTO, which started on 11 November 2002.
The WTO Training Institute conducted the three-week course in