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TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Nov14/07)
24 November 2014
Third World Network
 

TF PrepCom, General Council set to meet on 26 November
Published in SUNS #7919 dated 19 November 2014
 
Geneva, 18 Nov (Kanaga Raja) -- A meeting of the WTO Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation (PrepCom) followed by a special meeting of the General Council have been scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 26 November over the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)/food security issue.
 
This comes following an official announcement by the United States and India on 13 November that both governments had reached an agreement aimed at breaking the current deadlock on this issue.
 
In a statement issued by the Press Information Bureau, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, had said: "We are extremely happy that India and the US have successfully resolved their differences relating to the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes in the WTO in a manner that addresses our concerns."
 
This will end the impasse at the WTO and also open the way for implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, she added.
 
In a separate statement, US Trade Representative Michael Froman welcomed the agreement that was reached between the US and India, saying that this agreement paves the way for full implementation of the TFA. (See SUNS #7916 dated 14 November 2014.)
 
The PrepCom is reportedly scheduled to hold its meeting at 10 am on 26 November, with the main agenda item being the consideration and adoption of the Protocol of Amendment to insert the TFA into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement.
 
The General Council is reportedly to hold a special meeting at 3 pm on the same day, to consider and adopt decisions or take any necessary action on the following matters:
 
* Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation - Protocol of Amendment.
 
* Public stockholding for food security purposes.
 
Meanwhile, at their summit held in Brisbane, Australia from 15-16 November, the leaders of the G-20, in a communique, welcomed the breakthrough between the US and India, "that will help the full and prompt implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and includes provisions on food security."
 
"We commit to implement all elements of the Bali package and to swiftly define a WTO work programme on the remaining issues of the Doha Development Agenda to get negotiations back on track. This will be important to restore trust and confidence in the multilateral trading system," the G-20 communique added.
 
The G-20 leaders agreed to discuss ways to make the system work better when they meet next year.
 
The G-20 communique underlined the need for a strong trading system in an open global economy to drive growth and generate jobs.
 
"To help business make best use of trade agreements, we will work to ensure our bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements complement one another, are transparent and contribute to a stronger multilateral trading system under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules," said the G-20 communique.
 
"These rules remain the backbone of the global trading system that has delivered economic prosperity. A robust and effective WTO that responds to current and future challenges is essential," the G-20 leaders stressed. +

 


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