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