DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDAback to top Lamy: The trade talks are at a “crucial” phase
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his opening remarks to the WTO Public
Forum on 25 September 2006, noted the “frustration and regret”
of WTO members, academia and civil society over the risk of “losing
a major — maybe unique — opportunity to integrate more vulnerable
economies into international trade, and undermining their potential
for contributing to sustainable growth and poverty alleviation”
In remarks during the Cairns Group 20th Anniversary Meeting in Australia
on 20 September, Director-General Lamy said that the agricultural package
of the Doha Round last July “had nearly all the makings of a deal that
would have represented a quantum leap from the results of the Uruguay
Concern about the multilateral system and a willingness to continue
talking are not enough for a breakthrough in the Doha negotiations;
governments have to work hard in their own constituencies, despite
the “political costs of re-calibrating national positions”, the Director-General
told the World Bank-IMF International Monetary and Finance Committee
in Singapore on 18 September.
China has a strategic interest in safeguarding a strong WTO and working
for a successful Doha Round of negotiations, and members have acknowledged
China's serious and responsible commitment to its obligations, Mr.
Lamy told an audience in Shanghai on 6 September.
DISPUTE SETTLEMENTback to top Reports out on biotech, zeroing disputes
The WTO, on 29 September, issued the reports of the panel that had
examined complaints by the United States, Canada and Argentina,
respectively, against “European Communities — Measures affecting
the approval and marketing of biotech products” (DS291, DS292 and
On 20 September, issued the panel report that had examined Japan's
complaint against US' measures relating to zeroing and sunset reviews
Body issues report on compliance in Canada-US lumber dispute
Appellate Body, on 15 August, issued its report regarding the
compliance panel report in the case “United States — Final Dumping
Determination on Softwood Lumber from Canada” (DS264).
sets up compliance panel to review US implementation of “Cotton”
its meeting on 28 September, the Dispute Settlement Body established
a compliance panel under DSU Article 21.5 at the second-time request
by Brazil to review US’ implementation of the DSB rulings in the
“Cotton” case. At the same meeting, China blocked the first-time
requests by the EC, US and Canada for panels to examine China’s
measures on imports of auto parts; and the US blocked Thailand’s
first-time request for a panel to examine US measures on shrimp
its meeting on 1 September 2006, the DSB deferred Brazil 's first-time request
for a compliance panel to examine US implementation in the “Cotton” case (DS267)
following an objection by the United States.
opens “hormone” panel proceedings to public
journalists, NGO representatives, scholars and others watched live
the proceedings of the “hormones” dispute-settlement panels at
the WTO headquarters in Geneva via closed-circuit broadcast on
27 September. 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 and scientific experts on 27-28 September and
with the parties on 2-3 October for observation by WTO Members
and the general public.
David Unterhalter sworn-in as new Appellate Body Member
David Unterhalter (South Africa) was sworn in on 28 September as
Member of the Appellate Body at a ceremony at the WTO.
Specialized Course on WTO dispute settlement ends
29 September, 24 government officials ended a five-day immersion into the
rules and procedures governing the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.
DEVELOPMENT back to top Lamy calls for debate on ‘flexibility’ and what makes good ‘policy
The increase in South-South trade means developing countries’ policies
are increasingly affecting each other, and therefore calls for flexibility
to preserve “policy space” need to be thought through carefully,
Director-General Lamy said on 27 September. He was addressing the
53rd Session of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board.
As WTO members prepare to discuss a task force’s recommendations in mid-October,
Mr. Lamy has stressed the importance of “aid for trade” for helping
developing and least-developed countries deal with adjustment costs,
capacity constraints and supply responses for new trade agreements.
But he told the World Bank-IMF’s Development Committee on 18 September
that the WTO’s role would be advocacy and not the provision of assistance.
In a keynote address to the International Electrotechnical Commission
(IEC) Council Centennial Session on 29 September, Mr. Lamy called
on standardizing bodies to follow WTO guidelines in their work, including
“openness and transparency”, and ensuring effective participation
of developing countries.
In a video address to the 29th ISO General Assembly on 13 September 2006,
he urged the ISO to continue pursuing steps “to facilitate the integration
of developing countries in the world of standardization”. He added
that the relationship between ISO and the WTO “is critical for international
38th Trade Policy Course starts
Government officials from twenty-seven countries started a three-month
Trade Policy Course (TPC) in the WTO Secretariat at its Geneva Headquarters
on 18 September.
An online course will be organized for 227 government officials from
developing countries from 4 September to 13 October 2006 (six weeks).
The course is entitled “8th Introduction to the WTO and its Basic Principles”.
Its objective is to familiarize participants with the World Trade Organization,
the multilateral trading system and its legal framework. The course will
be held in English on the WTO eTraining website and will be monitored
by tutors from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
European Commission and Norway to donate to WTO Public Forum 2006
European Commission and Norway donated EUR 100,000 (around CHF 150,000)
and NOK 1 million (around CHF 200,000) respectively to co-finance
the 2006 WTO Public Forum, taking place in Geneva at the WTO headquarters
on 25 and 26 September.
TRADE POLICY REVIEWback to top Congo: A return to growth, but further reforms could help diversification
The Trade Policy Review Body reviewed Congo's trade policies and practices
on 27 and 29 September. Since its political stabilization in 2002
following a decade of civil war, the Republic of the Congo is pursuing
a macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform programme that
has improved the business climate. This programme, together with
the surge in world prices and domestic production and exports of
petroleum, has paved the way for a return to growth, with real
GDP increasing at an average annual rate of 4.2 percent during
the period 2002-2005, according to a report on the trade policies
and practices of the Republic of the Congo by the WTO Secretariat.
One of the main objectives of the country's poverty reduction strategy is to
diversify the economic base by stimulating agriculture, mining,
forestry and downstream processing, since the economy is dominated
by petroleum exploitation, according to the report. Leveraging
the deepwater port of Pointe-Noire, the Republic of Congo could
promote trade, including transit services, by addressing deficiencies
in the transport network, particularly land transport.
Bangladesh: Good economic performance and reforms should lead to sustained
The Trade Policy Review Body reviewed Bangladesh's trade policies and
practices on 13 and 15 September. Since its previous Trade Policy Review,
Bangladesh has pursued prudent structural reforms in priority areas
and trade liberalization with positive results on growth and foreign
direct investment inflows. Nevertheless, development constraints persist
such as infrastructure bottlenecks and institutional and other policy
limitations, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies
and practices of Bangladesh. The report points out that Bangladesh
remains heavily dependant on exports of ready made garments, despite
the risks from the elimination of quotas in accordance with the Agreement
on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). Moreover, it has yet to take full advantage
of its agricultural potential, and cope with inefficiencies and shortages
in the important services sector, which accounts for more than half
of Bangladesh's GDP.
Finland donates EUR 500,000 to WTO technical assistance
The Finnish government has donated EUR 500,000 to support technical
assistance and training activities in favour of least-developed countries.