NEGOTIATIONS ON FISHERIES SUBSIDIES

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The new proposals included a text from the European Union on prohibiting subsidies for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; a template from Argentina, Australia, the United States and Uruguay for members to submit negotiating offers for monetary caps they would impose on their fisheries subsidies; a draft text from Brazil, Ecuador and Egypt for a possible consultations mechanism in situations where a member is of the view that a prohibited subsidy is being granted or maintained by another member; and a text from Morocco on fishing vessels to be targeted in certain subsidy prohibitions.

The meetings were led by six facilitators who are WTO delegates that had been appointed to assist the former chair of the Negotiating Group on Rules (NGR), Ambassador Roberto Zapata Barradas (Mexico). After his departure last month, members have yet to agree on a new chair for the negotiations.

At the start of the cluster of meetings, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told members it was urgent to work together to appoint a new NGR chair who would supervise and lead the negotiations. At the close of the meetings on 13 September, Deputy Director-General Karl Brauner called on facilitators to report on their progress from the week and reiterated the message that members remain collectively responsible for finishing the negotiations on time by the end of 2019.

The next cluster of fisheries subsidies meetings will be in the week of 7 October.

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