NEGOTIATIONS ON FISHERIES SUBSIDIES

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Members considered a submission from China on how the WTO dispute settlement mechanism could be adjusted to apply to new fisheries subsidies disciplines. Members also discussed a proposed text from Japan on the scope of fisheries subsidies that will be covered by the disciplines. They further took up a proposed text from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Uruguay to prohibit subsidies to fishing vessels not flying the subsidizing member's flag.

Members had the opportunity to raise other issues and exchange information relating to prohibiting subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to fishing of overfished stocks, and subsidies contributing to overfishing and overcapacity, along with cross-cutting issues such as scope, definitions, institutional arrangements, and special and differential treatment for developing and least-developed country members.

As in the September cluster of meetings, the consultations were led by six facilitators who are WTO delegates appointed by the former chair of the Negotiating Group on Rules (NGR), Ambassador Roberto Zapata Barradas (Mexico), to assist with the negotiations. Members have not yet agreed on a new chair for the negotiations.

At the close of the meetings on 11 October, Deputy Director-General Karl Brauner again urged members to continue working towards building consensus to appoint a new chair.

The next cluster of fisheries subsidies meetings will be held in the week of 4 November.

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