DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDAback to top Lamy: Ministers here, but will there be negotiations?
Lack of progress in discussions immediately before the weekend’s deliberations
on template agreements — known as modalities — is “sobering”, Director-General
Pascal Lamy told an informal meeting of the full membership on
30 June. A number of countries shared his concern that continuing
deadlock could wreck the chances of concluding a deal that would
boost global economic growth, correct imbalances and promote development. > More
Mr. Lamy outlined the schedule for ‘moment-of-truth’ meetings. From
30 June, a series of meetings open to all members,
with hard talking among a representative group of ministers
and other forms of consultations, will aim to produce “vital operational
over the weekend.
In his opening address to the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Conference
on the WTO in Geneva on 22 June, the Director-General said the
following week is “a crucial moment for the negotiations” with
a number of ministers
aiming to narrow differences in industrial and agricultural goods.
“We have now a once in a generation opportunity to correct imbalances
in multilateral trade—I ask that we not waste it”, he said.
The chairpersons of the negotiating groups on agriculture and on
non-agricultural products, on 22 June, circulated to members draft
texts for their respective
Mr. Lamy, in a speech at the 12th International Economic Forum
of the Americas on 5 June. in Montreal, said that the current negotiations
are difficult because “this Round is deeper, larger and fairer
the board” than previous rounds.
TRADE POLICY REVIEWSback to top Chinese Taipei: A record of strong growth which continued reform can
help to maintain
The Trade Policy Review Body, on 20 and 22 June, conducted the first
review of the trade policies and practices of the Separate Customs
Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei). The
review was chaired by Amb. Claudia Uribe (Colombia). Amb. Bruce Gosper
(Australia) acted as discussant.
The economy of Chinese Taipei appears to be on a steady growth path,
given the ongoing implementation of macroeconomic policy measures
and structural reforms, including trade liberalization, with the
authorities forecasting GDP growth of 4.25% in 2006, according to
a WTO Secretariat report on the Trade policies and practices of Chinese
Taipei. But a number of challenges remain, as the Chinese Taipei
authorities recognize. The report says that of great importance to
Chinese Taipei's longer-term growth prospects will be its efforts
to implement structural and other economic reforms to boost competition,
including trade liberalization particularly in agriculture.
The report also says that further improvement of Chinese Taipei's investment
environment would contribute to attracting inbound direct investment,
and improving the efficiency of its economy.
Openness and specialization have led to high living standards
The Trade Policy Review Body, on 7 and 9 June, conducted the third review
of the trade policies and practices of Iceland. Amb. Uribe chaired the
review; Mr. Karl Ehlers (United States) acted as discussant.
Iceland's standard of living is among the world's
highest, in part due to the overall openness of its economy, which has
allowed Iceland to reap significant benefits from specialization and trade
according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Iceland published
by the WTO Secretariat.
Iceland has continued to diversify its economy
and undertaken macroeconomic and liberalising reforms over the last six
years. Many of these reforms have been driven by Iceland's participation
in the European Economic Area (EEA). This has widened the gap between the
treatment Iceland affords to its EEA partners and to other WTO Members
in various areas. The report suggests that closing this gap by applying
reforms on an MFN basis, and securing them in the WTO, would help reduce
remaining distortions, enhance competition in the domestic market, and
prevent over-reliance on the EEA market.
The report also calls for Iceland to take further
steps to reduce agricultural support and protection, in particular in the
dairy and lamb sectors, which could bring economic benefits and help align
agricultural policy with the market-based solutions implemented in other
DISPUTE SETTLEMENTback to top DSB establishes panels in salmon, microchips disputes
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 22 June,
established a panel to examine the EC's anti-dumping measure on farmed
salmon from Norway
DSB, on 19 June, established a panel to consider Japan's countervailing
duties on imports of certain Dynamic Random Access Memories
(DRAMs) from Korea (DS336).
At the DDSB meeting on 9 June, the EC blocked
Norway's first request for a panel to examine the EC's anti-dumping
measures on farmed salmon
begins for public hearings of “US/Canada — Continued suspension of
obligations in the EC—hormones dispute” (complainant EC) panels
At the request of the parties in the disputes the panels have agreed to
open their proceedings with the parties and scientific experts on 27-28
September and with the parties on 2-3 October 2006.
WTO ACTIVITIESback to top Christmas may come late this year for the SPS Committee
Chinese exports of wooden Christmas trees were the subject of one of
the 13 specific trade concerns raised during the 27–28 June 2006
meeting of the WTO committee dealing with plant and animal health
and food safety — sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS).
The Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (the “TBT Committee”) met
on 7-9 June.