Mr. Pascal Lamy on 1 September began his four-year term as
Director-General of the World Trade Organization. In his
the media, he said that “there is a lot of work to do..(but) as we all
know the WTO Director-General has no magic wand.”
On 14 September, he opened his first Trade Negotiations Committee
meeting by expressing the hope that it marks a new and more productive
phase for the TNC. In his
he urged intensification of work on the core issues in the run-up to the
Hong Kong Ministerial, adding that the Round will only succeed if “the
development dimension is at the centre of the negotiations”.
The Director-General, in a
speech at the International Parliamentary Union in Geneva on 22
September, said that “we have a common responsibility to ensure that the
trade engine is switched on for everyone, that no one is left behind”.
He stressed that the Doha Round represents an important opportunity for
economic growth and development.
In his remarks to the IMF
International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington on 24
September, Mr. Lamy said that the Hong Kong Ministerial is last and best
chance to conclude the Round by next year. He added that that “the world
economy will not come to an end if Hong Kong fails ... but it will be
left significantly weaker...” He said he would work intensively with the
IMF and the World Bank in the coming months to make the “Aid for Trade”
initiative for developing countries a reality.
The Director-General, in his
remarks to the Development Committee of the World Bank in Washington
on 25 September, said that while the international community has taken
recent steps towards debt relief and increasing aid “there is a missing
piece of the development puzzle—an essential third pillar—and that is
TRADE POLICY REVIEWback to top Trinidad and Tobago: Strong growth but achieving ambitious goals
requires further reforms
Since its last review in 1998, trade has played a crucial role in
supporting Trinidad and Tobago’s rapid economic growth. The country’s
rich natural endowments, its attractiveness as an investment destination
and favourable developments in world markets, specially in the
hydrocarbons sector, have produced a strong increase in GDP growth and
per capita income, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade
policies and practices of Trinidad and Tobago.
DISPUTE SETTLEMENTback to top WTO opens panel proceeding to public for the first time
Journalists, NGO representatives, scholars and others came on 12
September to the WTO in Geneva to watch the proceedings of a Dispute
Settlement Panel. It is the first time ever a legal proceeding is open
for public viewing at the WTO. The public watched the proceedings from
a separate room at the WTO headquarters, via closed-circuit broadcast.
The decision was taken by the members of the dispute settlement panel
after a request from the parties: Canada, European Communities, United
States. The proceedings for this meeting of the panel are part of the
case “Continued suspension of obligations in the EC — hormones
dispute” a case brought by the EC against Canada and the US. The panel
stage of dispute settlement cases normally takes from six to nine
months to complete.
WTO website launches improved information on disputes
The WTO has inaugurated a new research tool in its website: a powerful
facility to easily obtain detailed and up-to-date information on
dispute-settlement cases. Previously, it had been difficult to track
down information on the more than 300 dispute cases lodged in the WTO.
With the new “Find dispute cases” page, readers may easily obtain a
list of cases meeting criteria they specify, such as subject (steel,
apples etc.), complainant, respondent or date. For each dispute a web
page has been created in English, French and Spanish which gives a
summary of the dispute to date, as well as highlighting key facts and
providing links to documents and rulings. In addition, the website now
provides improved lists of disputes by country, subject and date.
WTO issues report of second compliance panel in FSC dispute
The WTO, on 30 September, issued the report of the panel that had
examined European Communities' second complaint regarding the
implementation of rulings in the case “United States — Tax treatment
for ‘Foreign Sales Corporations’” (DS108).
DSB starts information-gathering process in aircraft dispute
On 23 September, the Dispute Settlement Body initiated the
information-gathering process and designated Mr. Mateo
Diego-Fernandez, deputy chief of the Mexican delegation to the WTO, as
the facilitator under Annex V of the SCM Agreement for the two panels
established on 20 July 2005 to examine the complaints by the US and EC
against each other's support for, respectively, Airbus and Boeing
(DS316 & DS317).
Appellate Body issues report on chicken cuts dispute
The Appellate Body, on 12 September, issued its report regarding the
complaints of Brazil and Thailand against the European Communities in
the dispute “European Communities — Customs Classification of Frozen
Boneless Chicken Cuts” (WT/DS269/AB/R; WT/DS286/AB/R).
Arbitrator appointed in sugar dispute
On 5 September, Mr. A.V. Ganesan, Member of the Appellate Body,
informed Australia, Brazil, the European Communities and Thailand that
he accepts the appointment to serve as arbitrator to determine the
reasonable period of time for implementation of the DSB’s
recommendations and rulings in “European Communities — Export
Subsidies on Sugar” (WT/DS265/31; WT/DS266/31; WT/DS283/12).
Telecom, wheat and apple disputes settled
At the Dispute Settlement Body meeting on 31 August, Mexico and Canada
presented final status reports on progress in the implementation of
DSB’s recommendations in the telecom and wheat cases, respectively,
while Japan reported it had reached a mutually agreed solution with
the United States in the apple case.
Appellate Body members reappointed
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 27 September, appointed Messrs. Luiz
Baptista, John Lockhart and Giorgio Sacerdoti to second four-year
terms as Members of the Appellate Body, commencing on 12 December
Participants in 12th Dispute Settlement Course end a week of training
Twenty-five government officials from WTO Member and Observer
countries have ended a five-day immersion into the rules and
procedures governing the WTO Dispute Settlement mechanism.
back to top Working party examines first revision of Viet Nam’s membership report
Viet Nam’s membership negotiations have taken a substantial step forward
with the working party looking in detail on 15 September 2005 at the
first revision of the document that is a core part of the deal. The
point-by-point examination of the first revision of the Working Party
Report represents a substantial step forward in the 10-year-old
negotiation. The revision, circulated on 5 September 2005 was made
possible as a result of comments in an informal meeting in May, and the
tremendous efforts and progress Viet Nam has made since then.
back to top 34th Trade Policy Course starts
Twenty-seven government officials from developing countries and
economies in transition started on 19 September a three-month trade
policy course at the WTO headquarters in Geneva.
Italy gives 1,000,000 euros to WTO technical
The Government of Italy has donated 1,000,000 euros to WTO technical
assistance for the year 2005.