The Members of the Appellate Body elected Mr. A.V. Ganesan to serve as Chairman of the Appellate Body from 17 December 2005 to 16 December 2006, following the expiry of Mr. Yasuhei Taniguchi’s term as Chairman. (WT/DSB/40).
Ministers from the WTO’s 149 member governments approved a declaration
that many described as significant progress both since the July 2004
“package” and after six days of intensive negotiations in Hong Kong
which the chairperson described as “working like a dog”.
18 December: Ministers consider second revision of the Draft Declaration
Day 5: Revised draft circulated, ministers comment
Ministers headed for another long night of
negotiations after a revised draft ministerial declaration was
circulated in the early afternoon of 17 December. At an evening informal
meeting of the heads of delegations, they said the draft reflects
further achievements since the original was forwarded from meetings in
Geneva in November. They then got down to resolving remaining
differences in the text.
Ministers consider revised Draft Declaration
After extensive consultations, Chairman John Tsang and Director-General Pascal Lamy, on 17 December 2005, circulated a revised Draft Ministerial Declaration.
Day 4: Ministers start preparing revised draft ministerial text
WTO members ended the fourth day of the Ministerial Conference, 16 December 2005 working on texts that are to be inputs for a revised draft ministerial text and circulated in the middle of the next day.
On Friday, 9 December, officials from 27 countries attended the closing ceremony during which diplomas were awarded marking the end of the 34th WTO Trade Policy Course, which was held in English at WTO Headquarters from 19 September to 9 December 2005.
The Secretariats of the WTO and UNIDO hold side-event at Hong Kong Ministerial
the occasion of the WTO 6th Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong, WTO
and UNIDO held a side-event on 15 December 2005 on the
implementation of the Joint Cooperation Agreement between WTO and
UNIDO and on the UNIDO Cotton Initiative for Africa.
Day 3: Tonga all set to join, as movement seen in talks on least-developed countries
The WTO’s membership is officially heading for 150 now that Tonga’s accession talks have been completed — Tonga still has to ratify the agreement before it formally becomes a member. Meanwhile, consultations continuing into the early hours of 15 December and resuming later in the day have seen some progress on issues concerning least-developed countries, the conference chairperson reported.
WTO Ministers successfully approve Tonga’s membership at Hong Kong Conference
The WTO Sixth Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong today (15 December) approved Tonga’s terms of accession. This decision paves the way for the South Pacific Island nation to become the 150th member of the Organization. “The Kingdom of Tonga is pleased that its sustained efforts and commitment to a transparent and predictable trading environment have led to its successful membership of the WTO and, through it, to a fuller integration with the world economy,” said Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries, Dr. Feleti Sevele.
On 14 December 2005, Mr. James Bacchus, former Member of the Appellate Body, accepted the appointment as arbitrator by Brazil, the European Communities, and Thailand to determine the reasonable period of time for implementation of the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in “European Communities — Customs Classification of Frozen Boneless Chicken Cuts” (WT/DS269/12, WT/DS286/14).
Day 2: Convergence elusive on first full day of consultations; cotton also discussed
First consultations on agriculture, non-agricultural market access and development issues show that differences remain on a number of issues, the ministers handling these issues reported to heads of delegations at an evening meeting on 14 December 2005.
Sweden gives CHF 1.96m for assistance on SPS standards
Sweden agreed on 14 December 2005 to donate 12
million kronor (approximately 1.96 million Swiss francs) to help
developing countries analyse and implement international standards on
food safety and animal and plant health — so-called sanitary and
phytosanitary (SPS) standards.
Recipients and donors review cooperation programme
Partner countries of JITAP, the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme, implemented jointly by the International Trade Centre, the UNCTAD and the W TO, met on 14 December 2005 on the fringes of the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference to review the programme, its impact and future needs, and share experiences.
Day 1: Conference opens formally and ministers consult on industrial goods
Hong Kong, China’s Chief Executive Donald Tsang formally opened the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference on 13 December 2005, and ministers started consultations on market access for non-agricultural products.
Lamy urges negotiators to be “bold and courageous”
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his address at the inaugural session of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on 13 December 2005, said trade negotiators must be prepared to take some risks “for improved rules, for a level playing field, for free and fair trade — in short, the best chance for development, the backbone of the Doha Round”.
Aid planned as a complement to a market access package
An ambitious market access package, as a
result of the negotiations of the Doha Development Agenda, will
need to be accompanied by Aid for Trade to help developing
countries and Least Developed Countries take advantage of new
export opportunities and build up their capacity to trade,
according to Valentine Rugwabiza, Deputy Director-General of the
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a speech to the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament on 12 December 2005 in Hong Kong, China, said that members “must strengthen the Draft Declaration, build on it, and take it forward,” warning that “there is little time to spare”.
Aid for trade capacity in poorer countries up by 50 per cent since Doha
The amount of trade-related technical assistance and capacity building — to help developing and least-developed countries to participate more efficiently in international trade — has increased by 50% since the Doha Ministerial Declaration in November 2001, according to a joint report by the WTO and the OECD.
Saudi Arabia raises WTO membership to 149
Saudi Arabia becomes today (11 December 2005)
the 149th Member of the WTO. It is the world's 13th largest merchandise
exporter and the 23rd largest importer. Director-General Pascal Lamy, at
the conclusion of Saudi Arabia's negotiations last month, said its
membership “paves the way for a stronger multilateral trading system”.
Members OK amendment to make health flexibility permanent
WTO members on 6 December 2005 approved changes
to the intellectual property agreement making permanent a decision on
patents and public health originally adopted in 2003.
DSB agrees to extend time-period for adoption of “zeroing” panel report (DS294)
The Appellate Body, on 5 December 2005, issued
its Report regarding the compliance panel's rulings in the case “United
States — Final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain
softwood lumber from Canada” (DS257)
Denmark donates DKK 8.72 million to WTO technical assistance
The government of Denmark has pledged five
contributions for a total of DKK 8,720,000 for which DKK 7,720,000 goes
to the WTO technical assistance programmes and DKK 1,000,000 to the
financing of WTO LDC members’ participation in the Sixth Ministerial
Conference from 13 to 18 December 2005.
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his report to the General Council on 2 December 2005 as chair of the Trade Negotiations Committee, said that an intensive consultative process in the past few days has produced a second Draft Ministerial Text in response to a clear message from ministers that they expect to receive a “workable basis” for the deliberations in Hong Kong.
Conference Chair announces slate of facilitators
The Chair of the Sixth Ministerial
Conference, Sec. John Tsang, on 2 December 2005 urged members to
be “fully engaged in serious negotiations” in Hong Kong, and “set
the platform” for the conclusion of the Round in 2006. He promised
“an open, transparent and inclusive process”, and announced the
names of Ministers who will be assisting him as facilitators.
The Working Party negotiating Tonga's accession concludes its mandate
The Working Party on Tonga's accession, on
1 December 2005, adopted the draft Schedule of specific
commitments in services, the last remaining document necessary to
complete its work on Tonga's membership to the WTO.
Officials end immersion course on dispute settlement
On 25 November 2005, twenty-four government officials from WTO Member
States ended a five-day immersion into the rules and procedures governing
the WTO Dispute Settlement mechanism.
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his capacity as chair of the Trade Negotiations Committee, said on 30 November 2005 that he hoped to present soon a revised version of the Draft Ministerial Text for the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference. He urged all delegations to “exercise good will and redouble their efforts in order to find all possible convergence in the few hours before us”.
Least-developed countries have been given an extension until 1 July 2013 to provide protection for trademarks, copyright, patents and other intellectual property under the WTO’s agreement, following a decision reached by member governments on 29 November 2005.
The Appellate Body, on 29 November 2005,
issued its Report regarding the complaint of the United States against
Mexico in the dispute “Mexico — Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on
Beef and Rice, Complaint with Respect to Rice” (WT/DS295/AB/R).
Find the ‘last bridge’ urgently farm talks chairperson tells negotiators in pre-Hong Kong report
The agriculture negotiations have made
“relatively rapid” progress since August, the talks’ chairperson,
Ambassador Crawford Falconer, says in a report to the Trade Negotiations
Committee circulated on 25 November 2005. But the major differences that
have prevented agreement on “full modalities” in the forthcoming Hong
Kong Ministerial Conference mean there is a “compelling urgency” to
seize the moment and drive the process to a conclusion as rapidly as
possible, he warns.
The DSB adopts rulings on Korean and US anti-dumping measures
On 28 November 2005, the DSB adopted panel
report concerning Korea anti-dumping duties on certain paper from
Indonesia (DS312); and panel and appellate body reports pertaining to
United-States anti-dumping measures on oil country tubular goods from
Director-General Pascal Lamy, on 28 November 2005, presented a Secretariat note on Development Aspects of the Doha Round to the WTO's Committee on Trade and Development. He said that “what is already on the table can translate into a good result for development,” adding that “it would certainly be disastrous if what we have disappears because we fail to move the negotiations forward”.
Download the Secretariat note (Word format, 29 pages, 266KB)
Trade Policy Review: Romania
Director-General Pascal Lamy, at an informal meeting of heads of delegations on 26 November 2005, introduced the Draft Ministerial Text for the 6th Ministerial Conference.
Regional trade policy course for Latin America closes in Santiago, Chile
The closing ceremony for the Regional Trade Policy Course for Latin America, organized by the WTO in cooperation with the Institute of International Studies, University of Chile, was held on 25 November 2005. The course started on 5 September 2005.
Luxembourg donates 250,000 euros to the Doha Fund
Luxembourg has donated EUR 250,000 to the Doha
Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, a contribution that will be used
for the implementation of the activities included in the Technical
Assistance and Training Plan.
The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu to contribute to LDCs’ participation at Hong Kong Ministerial
The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu,
Kinmen and Matsu made a contribution of USD 20,000 to the trust fund
established for the purpose of financing the participation of
least-developed countries in the 6th Ministerial Conference.
Two new or modified proposals on cotton were outlined at the eighth Cotton Sub-Committee meeting on 18 November 2005: from the four African proponents (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali) and from the EU. These include proposed actions for ministers to take at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference next month.
WTO Secretariat prepares implementation of the 2006 technical assistance plan
The Secretariat has started preparations for the implementation of the WTO Technical Assistance and Training Plan for 2006 for developing countries. The plan is designed to enable the Secretariat to pursue in a coherent and cost effective fashion key objectives mandated by members, including “mainstreaming” trade into national development and poverty reduction policies, and reflects the principles and priorities of the Doha Development Agenda.
Lamy to NGOs: your criticism is based on a misunderstanding of services talks
Non-governmental organizations that signed an
open letter to the WTO misunderstand the way a text on services for the
Hong Kong Ministerial Conference is being drafted, Director-General
Pascal Lamy says in a reply released on 18 November 2005. The text is
based on ideas from all participants in the negotiations and at no stage
has the chairperson said that parts of the text can only be removed by
consensus, Mr Lamy writes.
WTO Secretariat announces statistics on safeguard measures
The WTO Secretariat, on 16 November, published
statistics on safeguards actions notified by WTO Members pursuant to the
Agreement on Safeguards during the period 1 January 1995 to
30 June 2005.
Patricia Francis appointed as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO
Patricia Francis of Jamaica has been appointed as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, the joint technical cooperation agency of UNCTAD and WTO for business aspects of trade development. The appointment was made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.
The WTO, on 15 November 2005, issued the report
of the panel that had examined Canada's complaint regarding the
implementation of rulings in the case “United States — Investigation of
the International Trade Commission in Softwood Lumber from Canada.”
WTO General Council successfully adopts Saudi Arabia’s terms of accession
The General Council formally concluded, on 11
November 2005, negotiations with Saudi Arabia on the terms of the
country’s membership to the WTO. The General Council Chair, Ambassador
Amina Mohamed of Kenya, said “Members have taken not only a major step
towards better international economic cooperation but they have also
allowed the WTO to become more universal.” Director-General Pascal Lamy
said that “Saudi Arabia is on its way to becoming the WTO's
149th Member, paving the way for a stronger multilateral trading
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his report to heads of delegations on 10 November 2005, said that informal meetings of a number of ministers during the past few days have not been able to bridge differences, which would now require members to “recalibrate” their expectations for the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference. He stressed the need to maintain the ambition of the Round, and for Hong Kong to mark a step forward in successfully completing the talks next year.
Arthur Dunkel: “A life dedicated to a more open and fair world trading system”
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a
speech on 2 November 2005 during a
ceremony in memory of Mr. Arthur Dunkel, said the former GATT
Director-General should be an inspiration in the current trade
negotiations: “he did not change course following the fashion of the
day, but remained firmly committed to his own belief that a more open
and fair trading system is an instrument of peace and prosperity”.
Trade Policy Review: Bolivia
The Appellate Body, on 2 November 2005, issued
its report regarding the complaint of Mexico against the United States
in the dispute “United States — Anti-Dumping Measures on Oil Country
Tubular Goods (OCTG) from Mexico” (WT/DS282/AB/R).
Iceland contributes CHF 180,000 to WTO technical assistance for 2005 to 2007
Iceland is donating to the WTO Doha
Development Agenda Global Trust Fund CHF 60,000 for each of the years
2005, 2006 and 2007 in order to finance WTO technical assistance
The WTO, on 31 October 2005, issued the report
of the panel that had examined European Communities’ complaint against
“United States — Laws, regulations and methodology for calculating
dumping margins (“zeroing”)” (DS294).
The African proponents of the cotton
initiative have welcomed progress on the developmental side of the
initiative, saying this aspect of the 1 August 2004 framework is
finally taking shape, the Cotton Sub-Committee learnt in its seventh
meeting on 28 October 2005.
Lamy welcomes conclusion of Saudi Arabia's WTO negotiations
Director-General Pascal Lamy, on 28 October
2005, welcomed the conclusion of the Working Party negotiations on the
accession of Saudi Arabia to the WTO. “This is a very important step in
Saudi Arabia's accession to the WTO. I am glad to see that the
tremendous amount of work done by Saudi Arabia has now brought it closer
to WTO entry. We look forward to confirmation by the General Council in
the days to come,” he said.
The WTO, on 28 October 2005, issued the award of the arbitrator regarding the reasonable period of time for the EC to implement the recommendations and rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body in the case “European Communities — Export subsidies on sugar” (DS265, DS266, DS283).
> Download the decision of the Arbitrator in
Word format (48 pages;
272KB), in pdf format
(48 pages; 169KB)
Transition period extended for export subsidies of developing countries
The WTO Committee on Subsidies and
Countervailing Measures (SCM Committee), on 27 October 2005, extended
by another year (until end 2006) the transition period for the
elimination of export subsidy programmes of 19 developing countries.
The WTO, on 28 October 2005, issued the report
of the panel in the case “Korea — Anti-dumping duties on imports of
certain paper from Indonesia” (DS312).
The WTO, on 27 October 2005, issued the second award of the arbitrator regarding the European Communities' implementation of the waiver granted by the Doha Ministerial Conference in relation to its banana regime (“European Communities — The ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, Decision of 14 November 2001,” WT/MIN(01)/15).
Trade Growth in 2005 to slow from record 2004 pace
Lower economic output, brought on in part by the sharp rise in oil prices, will slow world trade growth in 2005, according to WTO annual publication International Trade Statistics released on 27 October 2005. World merchandise exports are expected to grow by 6.5 per cent in 2005, markedly less than the 9 per cent growth recorded in 2004.
Lamy says progress in farm talks needed for the Round to gain steam
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a speech during an interactive video conference from Paris to the Annual Conference of the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank in Helsinki on 22 October 2005, said “while we have seen some progress in the agriculture dossier last week, positions are still too far apart on agricultural market access to allow the negotiations to progress”.
WTO Secretariat reports continuing declines in both new anti-dumping investigations and new final anti-dumping measures
The WTO Secretariat, on 24 October 2005,
reported that in the period 1 January-30 June 2005, the number of
initiations of new anti-dumping investigations and the number of new
measures applied continued their previously-reported declining trends.
Lamy reiterates call for a new “Geneva consensus”
Director-General Pascal Lamy, on 21 October 2005, said “trade liberalization is necessary but not sufficient” in his Master of Public Affairs inaugural lecture at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He stressed that “trade liberalization policies must be accompanied with programmes that take into account the victims of trade opening”.
Eighth Introduction Course on WTO for LDCs concludes in Geneva
The eighth Introduction Course on the WTO for
the least-developed countries (LDCs), organized by the Institute for
Training and Technical Co-operation of the WTO, concluded on 21 October
2005 in Geneva.
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his report to the General Council on 19 October 2005, said he will stress to Ministers meeting informally in Geneva that “we are under severe pressure of time” in the negotiations. He said the Ministers must build on last week’s momentum “to allow us to advance on all issues across the board”.
Lamy urges more flexibility in farm talks
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a speech (only in French) to European Union farmers’ organizations in Strasbourg, France on 18 October 2005, encouraged the EU and the United States to show greater flexibility in the agriculture negotiations, adding that everyone must make compromises in the Round. He also underlined the importance of agriculture in alleviating poverty in developing countries.
Lamy takes part in Hong Kong Roundtable Forum
Director-General Pascal Lamy and Hong Kong,
China's Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology John Tsang,
who is also chairman of the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference, were
keynote speakers of a roundtable forum on 16 October 2005 at the Hong
Kong University. NGO representatives participated in an open-floor
discussion. The host government's website broadcast the event. Mr Lamy
also spoke to journalists at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a statement at the meeting of the WTO Trade Negotiations Committee on 13 October 2005, said that the trade talks have gained “a new momentum” with the agriculture proposal by the United States. He added that “it is essential that the development aspect of agriculture negotiations be kept at the centre stage, as it is for the Round as a whole”.
“Trade can be a friend, and not a foe, of conservation” — Lamy
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his opening address to the WTO Symposium on Trade and Sustainable Development on 10 October 2005, said that the WTO must ensure its rules help correct environmental problems and support the implementation of multilateral environmental protection accords. He also urged trade liberalization in goods and services that can help protect the environment.
Working Party head underlines Bhutan’s LDC status
Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch, at the second
meeting of the Working Party on the accession of Bhutan on 6 October
2005, said members must keep in mind Bhutan's special status as a
land-locked, least-developed country in the negotiations.
Serbia's membership negotiations now underway
Serbia's Foreign Economic Relations Minister
Milan Parivodic, at the first meeting of the country's accession
working party on 7 October 2005, declared that WTO membership is a
“sine qua non” for Serbia's competitiveness and integration into the
The WTO, on 7 October 2005, issued the report
of the panel that had examined the United States' complaint against
“Mexico — Tax measures on soft drinks and other beverages” (DS/308).
Lamy urges business leaders to support services talks
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a speech to the International Trade Centre Executive Forum on National Export Strategy in Montreux on 5 October 2005, stressed that “services are a core element of the Doha Development Agenda”. He added that “there is clear link between development and benefits brought about by the opening of services markets”.
Lamy: Trade is “fundamental tool” in fight against poverty
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a speech to the UN Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva on 6 October 2005, said that “the bottom line will have to be that trade must act, and deliver, as an engine of GDP growth and development”. He added that “the economic interests and development needs of developing countries lie at the heart of the Doha Agenda”.
Book celebrates 10th anniversary of the WTO dispute settlement system
The WTO, on 6 October 2005, released “Key Issues
in WTO Dispute Settlement: The First Ten Years”. Edited by Deputy
Director-General Rufus Yerxa and Legal Affairs Division Director Bruce
Wilson, the book contains contributions by WTO Secretariat professionals
and outside experts.
Trade Policy Review: Tunisia
Montenegro membership talks launched
Montenegro's International Economic Relations
Minister Gordana Djurovic said the first meeting of the country's
accession Working Party held on 4 October 2005 marked “an important step
in Montenegro's transition to a fully free-market and free-trade
Yemen underlines commitment to WTO entry
Yemen's Industry and Trade Minister Khaled
Rajeh Sheikh, at the second meeting of the country's working party on 3
October 2005, said that WTO membership is “a necessary step and an
important component in our efforts to integrate into the world economy”.
The WTO, on 30 September 2005, 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).
Intensive consultations on the trade aspects of
the cotton initiative are needed if result is to be achieved by the Hong
Kong Ministerial Conference, the Cotton Sub-Committee’s new chairperson
Crawford Falconer told members on 28 September 2005.
DDGs assume office
WTO Deputy Directors-General Alejandro Jara of
Chile, Valentine Rugwabiza of Rwanda, Harsha V. Singh of India and Rufus
Yerxa of the United States begin their terms of office on 1 October
2005. Director-General Pascal Lamy informed the General Council about
his choice of Deputy Directors-General last July.
Lamy says trade is the missing piece of the development puzzle
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his remarks to the Development Committee of the World Bank in Washington on 25 September 2005, 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 opening”.
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 27 September 2005, appointed Messrs. Luiz Baptista, John Lockhart and Giorgio Sacerdoti to second four-year terms as Members of the Appellate Body, commencing on 12 December 2005.
Hong Kong Ministerial is last and best chance to conclude the Round by next year — Lamy
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his remarks to the IMF International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington on 24 September 2005, said 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.
Lamy: “The world trade engine must be switched on for everyone”
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a speech at the International Parliamentary Union in Geneva on 22 September 2005, 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.
DSB starts information-gathering process in aircraft dispute
On 23 September 2005, the DSB 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).
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.
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.
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
Italy gives 1,000,000 euros to WTO technical assistance
The Government of Italy has donated 1,000,000
euros to WTO technical assistance for the year 2005.
Participants in 12th Dispute Settlement Course end a week of training in Geneva
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.
Lamy lauds China's contribution to world economy
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a message on 15 September 2005 from Geneva to the Fourth Beijing International Forum on WTO and China (2005) and the Sixth Beijing Chaoyang International Business Festival, said that China's recent growth shows that a more open economy is the best way to boost competitiveness.
Lamy opens “new phase” in trade talks
Director-General Pascal Lamy, on 14 September 2005, opened his first Trade Negotiations Committee meeting by expressing the hope that it marks a new and more productive phase for the TNC. 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”.
Trade Policy Review: Trinidad and Tobago
WTO opens panel proceeding to public for the first time
Journalists, NGO representatives, scholars and others came on 12 September 2005 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 Appellate Body, on 12 September 2005,
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”
On 5 September 2005, 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).
At the Dispute Settlement Body meeting on 31 August 2005, 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.
Mr. Pascal Lamy today (1 September 2005) began
his four-year term as Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
A WTO Arbitrator, in his report issued on 29
August 2005, noted that Honduras and the Dominican Republic had
reached agreement on the reasonable period of time for implementation of DSB recommendations and rulings in the case “Dominican Republic —
Measures Affecting the Importation and Internal Sale of Cigarettes”
A WTO Arbitrator, on 19 August 2005, issued an
award on the reasonable period of time for implementation of the
recommendations and rulings of the DSB regarding the complaint by
Antigua and Barbuda against the United States in the dispute “United
States — Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and
Betting Services” (WT/DS285/13).
WTO issues report of compliance panel on steel dispute
The WTO, on 17 August 2005, issued the report
of the panel that had examined European Communities' complaint
regarding the implementation of rulings in the case “United States —
Countervailing measures concerning certain products from the European
Registration begins for public hearings of “Continued suspension of obligations in the EC—hormones dispute” panels 12-15 September 2005 in Geneva
For details and
application form to request a seat for the closed circuit broadcast
of the panels’ public hearings on the disputes “Continued suspension of
obligations in the EC—hormones dispute” (US — Continued
suspension of obligations in the EC—hormones dispute, DS320; Canada —
Continued suspension of obligations in the EC—hormones dispute, DS321)
On 4 August 2005, Mr. John Lockhart agreed at
the request of Honduras and the Dominican Republic to treat the
arbitration proceedings in “Dominican Republic — Measures Affecting the
Importation and Internal Sale of Cigarettes” as suspended until further
Farm talks chairperson reports to Trade Negotiations Committee
The agriculture negotiations are stalled, but
they have also clarified some of the key political trade offs that
members will have sort out in the coming months, the farm talks’
chairperson, Tim Groser, told the Trade Negotiations Committee on 28
Hormones panels to open proceedings with parties to the public
At the request of the parties in the disputes “Continued suspension of obligations in the EC—hormones dispute” (US — Continued suspension of obligations in the EC—hormones dispute, DS320; Canada — Continued suspension of obligations in the EC—hormones dispute, DS321) the panels have agreed to open their proceedings with the parties during the period 12-15 September 2005 for observation by WTO Members and the general public via closed-circuit broadcast to a separate location at WTO Headquarters. The WTO Secretariat has been asked to make logistical arrangements. The precise dates and times for the public sessions will be announced soon on the WTO website.
Communication from the Chairman of the panels in
format (1 page; 44KB) in
pdf format (1 page; 12KB)
The WTO, on 1 August 2005, issued the award of the arbitrator regarding the European Communities' implementation of the waiver granted by the Doha Ministerial Conference in relation to its banana regime (“European Communities — The ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, Decision of 14 November 2001,” WT/MIN(01)/15).
WTO issues report of compliance panel on softwood lumber dispute
The WTO, on 1 August 2005, issued the report
of the panel that had examined Canada's complaint regarding the
implementation of rulings in the case “United States — Final
countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood
lumber from Canada” (DS257).
Lamy announces his four Deputy Directors-General
Director-General Designate Pascal Lamy, on 29
July 2005, informed the General Council of the four people he has chosen
to be his deputy directors-general.
Hong Kong Commerce Secretary elected chair of the Sixth Ministerial Conference
The General Council, on 29 July 2005, elected
Mr. John Tsang, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology of
Hong Kong, China, as the chair of the Sixth Ministerial Conference.
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his
final report as Trade Negotiations Committee Chairman, said on
28 July 2005 that achieving a successful Ministerial Conference this
December is still possible provided members dedicate themselves to “a
politically engaged, results oriented, decision making mode of operation
immediately after the (summer) recess”. He said that as he prepares to
step down as Chair, he wished to remind members that the negotiations
“must be a means of improving economic opportunities and helping to
fulfil the hope of development... (and thus) problems in the
negotiations cannot be allowed to defeat us”.
On 22 July 2005, Mr. John Lockhart informed
Honduras and the Dominican Republic 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 “Dominican
Republic — Measures Affecting the Importation and Internal Sale of
33rd Trade Policy Course for officials ends
Officials from 26 countries participated, on 22
July, in the closing ceremony and distribution of diplomas marking the
end of the 33rd WTO Trade Policy Course, held in French at the WTO
headquarters in Geneva from 2 May to 22 July 2005.
Trade Policy Review: Egypt
Continued trade and structural reforms could improve Egypt’s economic performance.
Seventh introduction course on the WTO for LDCs concludes in Geneva
The seventh introduction course on the WTO for
the least-developed countries (LDCs), organized by the Institute for
Training and Technical Co-operation of the WTO, concluded on 15 July
2005 in Geneva.
DSB establishes panels to examine aircraft subsidy disputes
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 20 July 2005, established two panels to examine, respectively, the United States' complaint on European Communities’ subsidies to Airbus, and the EC's complaint regarding US subsidies to Boeing.
Germany donates 1 million euros to WTO technical assistance
The German Government made, on 25 July 2005, a
contribution of 1 million euros (CHF 1,544,000) to the Doha Development
Agenda Global Trust Fund. This donation will finance WTO technical
Africans keep up pressure for progress on cotton by end of July
A group of African countries said they were
disappointed that other members had not responded in writing to the
African Group’s proposed “modalities”, when the Cotton Sub-Committee met
on 18 July 2005.
The EU replied that it had responded to the proposal at earlier meetings
and had already formally proposed to “front load” (i.e. act quicker on)
those parts of an agriculture deal that would apply to cotton. The US
described the actions it is taking to get rid of the subsidies that had
been ruled to be illegal in a recent dispute.
Brazil requests authorization to impose countermeasures against US in cotton case
At the DSB meeting on 15 July 2005, Brazil's
request for authorization to impose countermeasures against the US in
the cotton case (DS267) was challenged by the US and, hence, referred to
WTO publishes its 2005 annual report
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his foreword to the WTO Annual Report 2005 issued on 15 July 2005, said that to mark the 10th anniversary of the WTO this year's annual report includes a special section “to review some of the important developments in the WTO since 1995 and to identify some of the challenges that lie ahead”.
Chairman urges intensification of Cape Verde negotiations
The Chairman of the Accession Working Party, Mr.
David Shark, on 14 July 2005 commended Cape Verde's efforts during the
past few months to accelerate its accession process.
Australia donates 195,000 Swiss Francs for the Standards and Trade Development Facility
The Australian Government, on 1 July 2005,
signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WTO over a contribution of
Australian $200,000 (approximately CHF 195,000) to the Standards and
Trade Development Facility, a programme which assists developing
countries in improving their expertise and capacity to analyse and
implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.
Spain contributes 320,000 euros to WTO technical assistance
On 24 June 2005, the Government of Spain donated
EUR 320,000 (CHF 493,760) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust
Fund. This contribution will be used to finance four technical
assistance activities for Latin American countries, as well as the
development of three CD-CD-ROMs in Spanish for distance learning.
Supachai: “These negotiations are in trouble”
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi called
on ambassadors in an informal meeting on 8 July 2005 to immediately
change gear in the trade negotiations, stressing that “progress is
nowhere near sufficient in terms of our critical path to Hong Kong”. He
said that there is still a “slender chance” of averting a crisis, “but
every hour must be made to count”.
Second regional course for French-speaking Africa launched in Rabat
The second Regional Trade Policy Course for
French-speaking Africa — organized by the WTO in partnership with
Mohammed V Soussi University — opened on 4 July 2005 in Rabat, Morocco.
Trade Policy Review: the Philippines
On 30 June 2005, Dr. Claus-Dieter Ehlermann was appointed by the Director-General to act as arbitrator to determine the reasonable period of time for implementation of the DSB's recommendations and rulings in “United States — Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services” (WT/DS285/12).
Private sector standards discussed as SPS Committee adopts two reports
The SPS Committee completed its second review of
the operation of the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement
and adopted a report on special treatment for developing countries on 29
and 30 June 2005. The two-day wide-ranging meeting also included the
committee’s first ever discussion of how governments should act when
standards required by their private sectors are tougher than the
government’s own requirements.
Africans call for response to cotton proposal as attention turns to end-July farm paper
African countries called for written responses
or alternatives to their own proposal at the 22 June 2005 Cotton
Sub-Committee meeting but some other members said more ambition in the
agriculture negotiations would be the major contributor to a substantial
outcome on cotton.
Standards, ‘offshoring’ and air transport: focus of the new World Trade Report
The application of technical standards by national governments can have both constructive and detrimental effects on international trade, according to the World Trade Organization’s 2005 World Trade Report, issued on 30 June 2005. Also covered are offshoring services (a particular aspect of outsourcing), air transport services and the use of quantitative economic analysis in dispute settlement.
The Appellate Body, on 27 June 2005, issued its report on the complaint of Korea in the dispute “United States — Countervailing Duty Investigation on Dynamic Random Access Memory Semiconductors (DRAMS) from Korea” (WT/DS296/AB/R).
WTO Director-General Designate Pascal Lamy has
announced a call for candidates to recruit four Deputy Directors-General
to serve four-year terms starting October 1, 2005. The
qualified candidates to apply to WTO Human Resources by July 10, 2005.
Russia calls for flexibility as chair expresses concern about amount of work left
Russian Economics Minister German Gref asked
members on 24 June 2005 to understand Russia’s difficulty in trying to
transform itself quickly into a market economy and complete its membership
agreement by the end of the year. But a large amount of work
remains, according to the membership negotiations’ chairperson and current
DSB adopts panel ruling on EC shipbuilding measures
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 20 June 2005
adopted the report of the panel that had examined Korea’s complaint
against “European Communities — Measures affecting trade in commercial
Compliance panel rules on apple dispute
The WTO, on 23 June 2005, issued the report of the panel that had examined the United States’ complaint regarding compliance with DSB rulings in the case “Japan — Measures affecting the importation of apples” (DS245).
> Download the panel report:
WTO and University of Namibia launch regional trade course for English-speaking Africa
The official inauguration of the First Regional
Trade Policy Course for English-speaking Africa in partnership with the
University of Namibia took place on 6 June 2005 in Windhoek, Namibia.
Chair reports ‘unsatisfactory’ information on import licensing
WTO members reviewed 33 import licensing
notifications when the committee responsible for this agreement met on
15 June 2005, the first of its two meetings of the year. However, the
number of notifications remains low, a situation the committee’s
chairperson described as “unsatisfactory”.
Panel report out on Mexico-US anti-dumping dispute
The WTO, on 20 June 2005, issued the report of the panel that had examined Mexico's complaint against “United States — Anti-dumping measures on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from Mexico” (DS282).
> Download the panel report:
WTO issues panel report on DRAMs dispute
The WTO, on 17 June 2005, issued the report of the panel that had examined Korea's complaint against “European Communities — Countervailing Measures on Dynamic Random Access Memory Chips from Korea” (DS299).
> Download the panel report:
Trade Policy Review: Ecuador
Continued reform would improve resilience and sustain economic growth.
EC and US block each other's first requests for panels in Airbus/Boeing disputes
At the Dispute Settlement Body meeting on
13 June 2005, the European Communities and the United States blocked
each other's first requests for panels in their Airbus/Boeing disputes.
The DSB agreed to revert to these matters at a future meeting.
Stability is as important as freer trade, Supachai tells Asian business leaders
A good outcome in the current WTO negotiations will be vital both for increasing trade and for modernizing global economic management, Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told business leaders at a conference in Bangkok on 14 June 2005.
Norway gives 10 million Norwegian Kroner to WTO technical assistance
On 10 June 2005, the Government of Norway
made a contribution of 10 million Norwegian Kroner (1.9 million
Swiss Francs) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
DDG Rana underscores Africa's significant stake in the negotiations
Deputy Director-General Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, in a speech in Cairo on 8 June 2005 during the Conference of the African Union Ministers of Trade, stressed the importance of Africa's continuing engagement in the Doha negotiations and hoped the Conference could send out “a message of reform and liberalization, ambition and development”.
Arthur Dunkel long time Director-General dies at 72
Arthur Dunkel, former Director-General of the GATT, died today (8 June 2005) aged 72, in Geneva, after a long illness. As Director-General of the GATT during 1980-1993, Mr Dunkel was at the helm of the launch of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations in September 1986 and steered the multilateral trading system to the doorstep of what is now known as the World Trade Organization.
Chairman cites encouraging progress in Kazakhstan talks
The Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession of Kazakhstan Amb. Vesa Tapani Himanen (Finland) on 7 June 2005 cited the circulation of the first draft report as “a clear signal that this accession has taken an important step forward”. He said progress would not have been possible without key domestic reforms and the enthusiasm of the Kazakh negotiating team.
A WTO arbitrator, on 7 June 2005, issued an award on the reasonable period of time for implementation of the recommendations and rulings of the DSB regarding Argentina's complaint against “United States — Sunset Reviews of Anti-Dumping Measures on Oil Country Tubular Goods from Argentina” (WT/DS268/12).
Panel report out on rice dispute
The WTO, on 6 June 2005, issued the report of the panel that had examined the United States' complaint against “Mexico — Definitive anti-dumping measures on beef and rice” (DS295).
> Download the panel report:
DSB establishes compliance panel to examine US implementation of softwood lumber case, Canada's request for sanctions is referred to arbitration
At its meeting on 1 June 2005, the Dispute Settlement Body established a compliance panel at the request of Canada to review the United States' implementation in the case “United States — Final dumping determination on softwood lumber from Canada” (DS264). Canada also requested the right to apply sanctions against the US but the US asked for arbitration on the amount of sanctions.
WTO issues report on dispute over customs classification of chicken cuts
The WTO, on 30 May 2005, issued the reports of
the panel that had examined complaints by Brazil and Thailand against
“European Communities — Customs Classification of Frozen Boneless
Chicken Cuts” (DS269 and DS286).
WTO Members choose Lamy as organization's 5th Director-General
The 148 members of the WTO today (26 May 2005) formally selected Pascal Lamy of France to be the organization's fifth Director-General. “I congratulate Pascal on his selection as Director-General. His experience in trade matters, his grasp of detail and his proven track record in institutional management ensure that he will be an excellent Director-General. I look forward to working closely with him in the future,” said Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, who will assume 1 September the post of UNCTAD Secretary General.
Accession working parties established for Iran, Sao Tomé and Principe
The General Council, on 26 May 2005,
established separate working parties to examine the membership
applications of Iran, and Sao Tomé and Principe, respectively.
The Netherlands to donate over CHF 4 million to WTO technical assistance
The Dutch government, on 24 May 2005, pledged a contribution of CHF 4.186 million to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund for 2005 to 2007.
New chair urges Belarus to accelerate accession work
The seventh meeting of the Working Party for the
accession of Belarus to the WTO was held on May 24, 2005 presided by the
new chairperson Ambassador Mia Horn af Rantzien of Sweden. The delegation
of Belarus was led by Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Andrei Kobyakov.
African Group proposes cotton distortions scrapped by September
The African Group has circulated a text (dated
22 April 2005) for radically reforming trade in cotton and “cotton
by-products”, which it says includes textiles goods. Many members
welcomed the proposal at the 29 April 2005 meeting because it has
allowed the Cotton Sub-Committee to start focusing on substance rather
than procedure, but some said the sector’s reform should be part of the
full agriculture negotiations package.
WTO dispute body adopts rulings on EC sugar export subsidies and on Dominican Republic's cigarette measures
The Dispute Settlement Body on 19 May 2005 adopted the Appellate Body and the panel reports on the European Communities' export subsidies on sugar. At the same meeting, the DSB adopted the Appellate Body and the panel reports on the Dominican Republic's measures affecting the importation and internal sale of cigarettes.
Chair says Viet Nam must complete bilaterals quickly to meet ambition
The chairperson of the working party negotiating the country’s membership said Viet Nam and its trading partners should finish their bilateral talks in “a couple of months” if it is to join by December. He was speaking at an informal working party meeting on 20 May 2005, where Viet Nam’s vice minister and chief negotiator highlighted Hanoi’s new commitments and latest legislative programme.
WTO Secretariat reports declines in both new anti-dumping investigations and new final anti-dumping measures
The WTO Secretariat, on 19 May 2005, reported that in the period 1 July-31 December 2004, both the number of initiations of new anti-dumping investigations, and the number of new final anti-dumping measures applied, showed substantial declines compared with the corresponding period of 2003.
The United States to contribute US$ 992,000 to WTO technical assistance
The United States Government, on 17 May 2005,
pledged a contribution of US$ 992,000 (CHF 1.2 million) to the Doha
Development Agenda Global Trust Fund for 2005.
Supachai welcomes appointment to UNCTAD, pledges continuing support for WTO and Doha Round
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi expressed deep appreciation to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and to the UN General Assembly on the confirmation yesterday (11 May) of his appointment to lead the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the next four years, beginning on 1 September 2005.
Trade Policy Review: Nigeria
Trade liberalization should improve Nigeria’s macroeconomic performance.
Supachai calls for greater sense of urgency in trade talks
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his remarks before the OECD Council at Ministerial Level in Paris on 4 May 2005, urged Ministers to “provide essential impetus to the work in Geneva”, warning that “convergence is not built overnight, and time is running out quickly”. He stressed that “failure would be a major setback for growth, development and the multilateral system”.
French-speaking officials begin 33rd WTO Trade Policy Course
Twenty-seven officials from developing
countries began the 33rd three-month WTO Trade Policy Course in Geneva
on 2 May 2005. One of five planned for this year, this course is in
French. It was opened officially by Paul Rolian, director of the WTO’s
Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation.
The Appellate Body, on 28 April 2005, issued its report on the complaints of Australia, Brazil, and Thailand against “European Communities — Export Subsidies on Sugar” (WT/DS265/AB/R; WT/DS266/AB/R; WT/DS283/AB/R).
Trade Policy Review: Paraguay
Stability of the trade and investment regime, crucial to achieve sustainable growth.
The Appellate Body, on 25 April 2005, issued
its report on the complaint of Honduras against “Dominican Republic —
Measures Affecting the Importation and Internal Sale of Cigarettes”
WTO/University of Hong Kong trade policy course begins for Asia/Pacific region
The official inauguration of the Second
Regional Trade Policy Course (RTPC) for the Asia-Pacific region in
partnership with the University of Hong Kong took place on 20 April in
Hong Kong, China.
WTO issues panel report on EC shipbuilding measures
The WTO, on 22 April 2005, issued the panel
report on Korea's complaint in the dispute “European Communities —
Measures affecting trade in commercial vessels” (DS301).
WTO dispute body adopts rulings on geographical indications and on gambling
The Dispute Settlement Body on 20 April 2005
adopted the panel report on the European Communities' protection of
trademarks and geographical indications for agricultural products and
foodstuffs. It also adopted the Appellate Body and panel reports on
the United States' measures affecting the cross-border supply of
gambling and betting services.
Canada donates C$156,000 for second Caribbean Regional Trade Policy Course
A Canadian contribution of 156,000 Canadian
dollars (149,000 Swiss francs) to help train Caribbean officials “will
enable them to better understand the WTO agreements and to take a more
active part in the negotiation of new market access commitments,” WTO
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi said, welcoming the donation.
WTO Training Institute reports on activities for 2004
The WTO Institute for Training and Technical
Cooperation annual report describes over 500 training activities
conducted for the benefit of developing countries during 2004, ranging
from intensive twelve-week courses on the WTO to the establishment of
computerized WTO reference centres.
Supachai underscores WTO contribution to world peace and development
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his
introductory remarks at the WTO
Public Symposium on 20 April 2005, said that “the WTO has extended the
rule of law into the international trade realm and has contributed
significantly to keeping peaceful and stable trading relations between WTO
Members”. He added that “trade is not the answer to all the world's
problems, but it can make a powerful contribution to international efforts
Russia concludes goods negotiations with 29 members
The Russian Federation, at the 27th session of
its Working Party on 13 and 15 April 2005, reported the completion of
bilateral negotiations on goods with a total of 29 WTO members (the EC
counting as one), which represents 50% of members of the Working Party and
87% of total Russian imports.
DDG Rana cites development gains from successful trade talks
Deputy Director-General Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, in a speech at the 9th Economist Government Roundtable in Athens on 20 April 2005, said that successfully concluding the Doha negotiations is “key to helping developing countries grow their way out of poverty”.
WTO welcomes public access to historical GATT documents on the Internet
The WTO, on 19 April 2005, welcomed the launch by
Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR)
of a website to permit public access to de-restricted documents of the
GATT, the predecessor of the WTO.
Developing countries’ goods trade share surges to 50-year peak
Riding a wave of higher oil and commodity
prices, and vigorous global trade growth including recovery in trade in
office and telecom equipment, developing countries saw their share in
world merchandise trade rise sharply in 2004 to 31%, the highest since
1950, according to WTO figures released on 14 April 2005. “As trade
continues to play a growing role in economic activity, it is increasingly
important for development and poverty alleviation,” said Director-General
Supachai: Doha success will enhance global food security
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the High-Level Round Table on Agricultural Trade Reform and Food Security on 13 April 2005 at FAO, Rome, stressed that “the path to food security is through integration and interdependence, not protection and autarchy”.
On 8 April 2005, Mr. A.V. Ganesan, Member of the Appellate Body, accepted the request by Argentina and the United States to act as arbitrator to determine the reasonable period of time for implementation of the DSB's recommendations and rulings in “United States — Sunset Reviews of Anti-Dumping Measures on Oil Country Tubular Goods from Argentina”.
WTO dispute body adopts panel ruling on Korean shipbuilding measures
The Dispute Settlement Body on 11 April 2005
adopted the panel report on Korea's measures affecting trade in commercial
vessels, a case brought by the European Communities.
31st and 32nd WTO Trade Policy Courses end
The Director-General, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi,
congratulated participants during the Diploma Ceremony held on the
occasion of the closure of the 31st and 32nd Trade Policy Courses which
were organized by the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation.
WTO eTraining launches course for government officials
The WTO eTraining programme will be conducting an
online course, in French, for 63 government officials from developing
countries from 28 April to 27 May 2005.
The Appellate Body, on 7 April 2005, issued its
report on the complaint of Antigua and Barbuda against “United States —
Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting
Supachai calls for substantial Doha progress before summer break
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his remarks at the start of the 10th Geneva Week for non-resident WTO Members and Observers on 4 April 2005, underlined the need “to translate the positive input of Ministers and Senior officials into give-and-take in the detailed negotiations here in Geneva”. He assured participants that the WTO will continue to be responsive to their special needs for technical assistance.
The WTO and the Netherlands launch new trainee programme for LDCs
The WTO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands
launched, on 24 March 2005, a new Trainee Programme for LDCs and other low
income, and small and vulnerable, economies. The objective is to give the
officials from such countries the opportunity to learn, while working for
the WTO, about trade and development related matters and to develop their
knowledge of trade policy.
Sub-committee starts work, looking at farm talks and development aspects of cotton
The Cotton Sub-Committee heard updates on the
agriculture talks and development aspects of cotton, getting down to
substance after it swiftly adopted its work programme at its second
meeting on 22 March 2005.
Korea donates 200,000 US dollars to WTO technical assistance
The Government of the Republic of Korea, on
22 March 2005, contributed USD 200,000 (approximately CHF 234,000) to the
Doha Development Agenda (DDA) Global Trust Fund.
WTO dispute body adopts ruling on US cotton subsidies
The Dispute Settlement Body on 21 March 2005
adopted the Appellate Body and panel reports on the United States'
subsidies on upland cotton. The complaint was brought by Brazil. At the
same meeting, the DSB set up at the US' request a panel to examine
selected European Communities customs matters. The DSB also established at
Korea's request a panel to look at Japan's import quotas on laver.
Goods Council agrees on chairpersons of subsidiary bodies
The Council for Trade in Goods, on 11 March 2005,
agreed on a slate of chairpersons of its subsidiary bodies for this year.
WTO eTraining Course for government officials
The WTO eTraining programme is offering an online
course for 52 government officials from developing countries from 14 March
to 22 April 2005 (six weeks). The course is entitled “3rd Introduction to
the WTO and its Basic Principles” and will be conducted in Spanish.
Canada donates 385,000 Swiss Francs for the Standards and Trade Development Facility
The Canadian Government, on 18 March 2005, signed
a Memorandum of Understanding with the WTO over a contribution of Canadian
$400,000 (approximately CHF 385,000) to the Standards and Trade
Development Facility, a programme which assists developing countries in
improving their expertise and capacity to analyse and implement
international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.
Panel reports out on geographical indications disputes
The WTO, on 15 March 2005, issued the reports of
the panel that had examined complaints by the United States and Australia
against “European Communities — Protection of trademarks and geographical
indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs” (DS174 and DS290,
Trade Policy Review: Mongolia
Regionalization, BSE and foot-and-mouth still top issues list
WTO members meeting on 9–10 March 2005 failed to
agree on a work programme on implementing “regionalization”, but
progressed in their latest review of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary
Measures (SPS) Agreement. Mad cow disease (BSE or bovine spongiform
encephalopathy) and foot and mouth disease repeatedly emerged as concerns
in the SPS Committee, both underlying the broader issues and in the more
specific trade concerns raised.
WTO's first 10 years “a success” — Supachai
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his speech “The WTO After 10 Years: The Lessons Learned and The Challenges Ahead” to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on 10 March 2005, expressed confidence that “the lessons learned during our first decade will help future leaders to chart the course for greater equity, stability and prosperity”. He said that one of the most important achievements has been “the enhanced integration of developing countries into the WTO system”.
The WTO will hold its annual public symposium from 20 to 22 April 2005. Participants from governments, parliaments, civil society, the business sector, academia and the media are invited to debate on the theme “The WTO After 10 Years: Global Problems and Multilateral Solutions”. Several heads of state and trade ministers have been invited to speak.
The WTO, on 7 March 2005, issued the report of the panel that had examined the European Communities’ complaint against “Korea — Measures affecting trade in commercial vessels” (DS273)
The Appellate Body, on 3 March 2005, issued its report on the complaint of Brazil against “United States — Subsidies on Upland Cotton” (WT/DS267/AB/R).
Supachai welcomes chance to lead UNCTAD, pledges continued support for DDA
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on
1 March 2005, said he was deeply honoured to have been proposed by UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan to lead the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development. He stressed that until the expiry of his term of
office as Director-General on 31 August 2005, he will remain fully
committed to the WTO.
Algeria — Meeting of the Working Party February 25, 2005
The eight meeting of the Working Party for the accession of Algeria to the WTO was held on 25 February under the chairmanship of the ambassador of Uruguay, Mr. Guillermo Valles, and with the delegation of the Government of Algeria under the leadership of H.E. Mr. Noureddine Boukrouh, Minister of Commerce, who was accompanied by a large team of experts representing all areas of trade matters in Algeria. The meeting reviewed the state of play in the bilateral market access negotiations. Algeria submitted initial offers on goods and services in March 2002, and revised offers were circulated on 18 January 2005. The meeting also examined the revised elements of a draft Report of the Working Party and the latest legislative developments.
Trade Policy Review: Qatar
Report out on DRAMS dispute
The WTO, on 21 February 2005, issued the report
of a panel that had examined a complaint by Korea against United States
— Countervailing Duty Investigation on Dynamic Random Access Memory
Semiconductors (DRAMS) from Korea (DS296).
WTO dispute body establishes panels on US and Canada sanctions in ‘hormones’ dispute
The Dispute Settlement Body on 17 February 2005
set up two panels to examine, respectively, the United States' and
Canada's continued sanctions against the European Communities' import
ban on hormone-treated beef. At the same meeting, the DSB set up at the
EC's request a panel to examine the US' compliance in the Foreign Sales
Russia's membership talks make good progress
The 26th meeting of the Working Party on the
accession of the Russian Federation to the WTO, held on 16-17 February
2005, made good progress on substantial issues although the chairman,
Ambassador Stefán Jóhannesson of Iceland, said that there was “still a lot
of work has to be done”.
At the February 15th 2005 meeting, the General Council accepted the separate applications for membership of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro and agreed to the establishment of Working Parties to start the negotiations. As from that date the application of “Serbia and Montenegro” was withdrawn and this entity ceased to be an applicant and an observer.
WTO chairpersons for 2005
The General Council, on 15 February 2005, noted
the consensus on the slate of names of chairpersons for WTO bodies and
elected Amb. Amina Chawahir Mohamed of Kenya as its new Chairman.
The United Kingdom donates 1.9 million Swiss Francs for the Standards and Trade Development Facility
On 4 February 2005, the United Kingdom Government
signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WTO over a contribution of
£850,000 (approximately CHF 1.9 million) to the Standards and Trade
Development Facility, a programme which assists developing countries in
improving their expertise and capacity to analyse and implement
international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.
Trade Policy Review: Sierra Leone
Second Regional Trade Policy Course for the Caribbean launched
The WTO in partnership with the University
of the West Indies (UWI) launched the Second Regional Trade Policy
Course for the Caribbean on 24 January 2005 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Twenty-five government officials from 15 Caribbean countries are
taking part in this course which is being held at the Mona Campus
of the University of the West Indies from 24 January to 15 April
US and Canada block first EC panel requests in new ‘hormones’ dispute
Four first-time requests for a dispute
panel to be set up were blocked on 25 January 2005, including the
European Communities’ requests to consider the United States’ and
Canada’s continued sanctions against the EC’s import ban on
31st and 32nd WTO Trade Policy Courses begin
The 31st and 32nd WTO Trade Policy Courses
opened in Geneva on 17 January 2005. Mr. Paul Rolian, Director of
the Institute for Training and Technical Co-operation, welcomed
the 45 participating officials from developing countries and
economies in transition.
The four nominated candidates for the position of WTO Director-General introduced themselves to members at a formal General Council meeting on 26 January 2005.
Trade Policy Review: Japan
Appellate Body issues Annual Report
WTO talks can be ‘a catalyst for growth’, Supachai tells African meeting
Work on the Doha agenda has to intensify, with
continued top-level political involvement, Director-General Supachai
Panitchpakdi told a meeting of African and Nordic ministers in Tanzania on
20 January 2005. In a wide-ranging speech, he urged African countries to
reap potential big gains by taking a longer view in the agriculture
negotiations, and he said that the discussion on preference erosion has to
reconcile conflicting objectives among developing countries.
WTO eTraining Course for developing-country officials
The WTO eTraining program will conduct an online
course for 61 government officials from developing countries on 24 January
to 4 March 2005.
Trade Policy Review: Jamaica
Eminent persons issue report on “The Future of the WTO”
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 17 January 2005, welcomed the report of his Consultative Board chaired by Mr.
Peter Sutherland. As the WTO marks its 10th anniversary, Dr. Supachai said
“there is undoubtedly a need for serious reflection on how to improve our
functioning while safeguarding the strengths of this institution”.
The DSB establishes compliance panel to examine US implementation of softwood lumber case
At the Dispute Settlement Body meeting held on
14 January 2005, Canada requested that a panel examine the United States'
implementation in the case “United States — Final countervailing duty
determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada” (DS257)
and the DSB referred the matter to the original panel. Canada also
requested the right to apply sanctions against the US but the US asked for
arbitration on the amount of sanctions.
Supachai urges members to mull trade policies to help tsunami sufferers
Swiftly concluding the current Doha Agenda
negotiations and perhaps other actions, such as better market access, and
restraint in using trade remedies, are needed to help countries trying to
recover from the Asian tsunami, WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
told members on 13 January 2005. In a letter to all members, he urged them to
consider whether they can introduce any trade policies now to help the
worst affected economies to recover.
Supachai welcomes EU-US decision on aircraft dispute
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 11
January 2005, welcomed the decision taken by the European Union and the
United States to negotiate a bilateral resolution to their ongoing dispute
concerning aircraft subsidies rather than continue the cases they had
brought in October to the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body.
Four candidates nominated for the post of Director-General
The following candidates have been nominated by
their respective governments for the post of WTO Director-General to
succeed the current Director-General, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, whose
term of office expires on 31 August 2005: Carlos Pérez del Castillo of
Uruguay, Jaya Krishna Cuttaree of Mauritius, Luiz Felipe de Seixas Corrêa
of Brazil, and Pascal Lamy of France.