Issue No. 649, 16-30 September 2017
WTO members still far apart on Ministerial outcome

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MC11 becoming a North-South battle
North-South faultlines are becoming more evident in the run-up to the WTO’s eleventh Ministerial Conference in December, with most developing countries calling for outstanding items on the WTO agenda to be addressed even as developed countries mainly seek to shift the focus to new issues.
by D. Ravi Kanth

DG, chairs of negotiating bodies on state of play ahead of MC11
The progress reports presented at the 24 October HoD meeting on the various strands of talks taking place leading up to the WTO Ministerial Conference underlined the scale of work needed in the little time remaining to achieve convergence on the outcomes to be delivered at Buenos Aires.
by Kanaga Raja

No convergence on PSH or domestic support reduction
Attempts by the WTO head to spur progress towards outcomes at Buenos Aires on the key issues of public food stocks and domestic farm subsidies have yielded no breakthrough thus far.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Outcome unlikely on domestic regulation in services at MC11
Prospects of an agreement at Buenos Aires to discipline domestic regulation of services trade appear slim, with many countries arguing that more time is needed to resolve prevailing differences in this area.
by D. Ravi Kanth

US attempts to use wrecking ball against WTO
A new US proposal on transparency and notification requirements envisages drastic punitive measures for non-complying WTO members while at the same time bypassing the WTO’s Doha work programme. D. Ravi Kanth considers the potentially far-reaching implications of the US move.

Abandon “failed policies” of privatization and austerity, IMF told
Decrying the ruinous impacts of IMF loan conditionalities demanding privatization, deregulation and austerity, a UN rights expert has urged the Fund to ensure that its lending practices do not fall foul of human rights norms.
by Kanaga Raja

Opinion: The World Bank’s simplistic claims on business regulations and inequality
An annual report card on 190 countries’ business climates uses shoddy research to promote deregulation as a means of reducing inequality.
by Peter Bakvis