Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Dec12/03)
19 December 2012
Third World Network
"Very little appetite" for resuming Rules talks, says
Published in SUNS #7469 dated 31 October 2012
Geneva, 30 Oct (Kanaga Raja) -- The Chair of the WTO Negotiating Group
on Rules has reported that based on his consultations, he has detected
"very little appetite" for resuming the negotiations in
At an informal meeting of the Negotiating Group late last week, the
Chair, Ambassador Wayne McCook of Jamaica, further said that some
delegations had warned that resuming the negotiations could harm the
According to trade officials, the Chair told the informal meeting
that the prevailing view is that the Rules negotiations cannot proceed
unless there is a change of shift in the underlying dynamics in the
Some delegations have suggested that the Group could perhaps undertake
some form of technical discussions, possibly on fisheries subsidies,
Ambassador McCook added.
(The Rules negotiations encompass the issues of anti-dumping, general
subsidies, fisheries subsidies and regional trade agreements.)
According to trade officials, Japan underscored the importance of
the Rules negotiations, especially the issue of anti-dumping, in the
overall balance of the Doha Round.
It said that the "Friends of Anti-Dumping Negotiations"
(FANs) have submitted more than 100 proposals to the Negotiating Group.
It however acknowledged that the Rules negotiations can only be approached
in a spirit of "realism and pragmatism".
According to trade officials, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Thailand, Chile,
Colombia, Mexico, Israel, Singapore and Brazil expressed support for
(According to information posted on the WTO website, the members of
the Friends of Anti-Dumping Negotiations include Brazil, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Hong Kong-China, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway,
Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Turkey.)
New Zealand, on behalf of the "Friends of Fish" (Argentina,
Australia, Chile, Colombia, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan,
Peru and the United States) said that with the Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) reporting that 30% of the world's fish stock is
now over-exploited, the urgency of an agreement on fisheries subsidies
is not diminishing.
New Zealand said that the Friends of Fish see an ambitious result
in this area as a key outcome of the Doha Round, highlighting the
Rio+20 Declaration calling for progress in the fisheries subsidies
negotiations in the Doha Round.
It called on members to submit fisheries subsidies programmes as part
of their regular WTO subsidy notifications.
Ecuador voiced support for the statement of the Friends of Fish group.
According to trade officials, China said that it shared the sense
of urgency on fisheries, adding that the WTO should shoulder its responsibility
in this area.
Cuba said that the Anti-Dumping Agreement is the WTO agreement with
the least number of special and differential treatment (S&D) provisions
for developing countries.
Cuba would table a proposal with Ecuador to make S&D operational
According to trade officials, Cuba was supported by Ecuador, Bolivia,
Venezuela and South Africa.
At the end of the informal meeting, the Chair said that he would reflect
on the discussion in the Group, and also follow closely developments
in other areas of the Doha Round.
Ambassador McCook took note of the suggestions made for technical
work, and urged delegations with proposals to discuss them with other
The Chair said that he has no date in mind for a future meeting of
the Group, adding that the Group would observe the same "bottom-up"
principle - that re-engaging on substance can only be on the basis
of a determination made by members. +