Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar15/01)
6 March 2015
Third World Network
No consensus on AD stocktaking workshop
Published in SUNS #7972 dated 2 March 2015
Geneva, 27 Feb (Kanaga Raja) -- The Chair of the WTO Negotiating Group
on Rules on Thursday reported that no consensus has emerged from his
consultations on a proposal by a group of countries to hold a stocktaking
workshop on the anti-dumping (AD) negotiations.
The proposal had been tabled by Japan on behalf of the Friends of
Anti-Dumping Negotiations (FANs) at an informal meeting of the Rules
Group last December.
At that meeting, Japan had proposed: (1) that the WTO Secretariat
organise a workshop on stocktaking of the anti-dumping negotiations;
and (2) that the Group re-start discussions on the non-controversial
un-bracketed parts of the Chair's text. (See SUNS #7940 dated 18 December
(The Friends of Anti-Dumping Negotiations include Brazil, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Hong Kong-China, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico,
Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Turkey.)
At the informal meeting on Thursday, Japan, speaking on behalf of
the FANs, voiced its disappointment and expressed hope that the members
concerned would reconsider their position.
According to trade officials, Japan reiterated the importance of including
the issue of anti-dumping in the post-Bali work programme.
It recalled that the FANs have also proposed starting discussions
on anti-dumping, beginning with the least controversial issues.
According to trade officials, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Chinese
Taipei, Colombia, Chile, and Hong Kong-China expressed support for
the statement made by the FANs.
Australia, Canada, the United States and Brazil reportedly expressed
varying degrees of reservations.
Meanwhile, New Zealand, speaking on behalf of the ‘Friends of Fish',
said that they remain committed to having a fisheries subsidies outcome
in the post-Bali work programme.
Colombia, Peru, Iceland, Ecuador, Chile, Australia and the United
States supported the Friends of Fish statement.
(The Friends of Fish is comprised of Argentina, Australia, Chile,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan,
Peru, the Philippines and the United States.)
According to trade officials, Saint Lucia, speaking on behalf of the
African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries (ACP) and the Small
and Vulnerable Economies (SVEs), said that they look forward to engaging
in the Rules negotiations, in particular on fisheries subsidies. It
stressed that fishing is a vital source of income for these countries.
Ghana, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that the group
continues to be constructively engaged in the Rules negotiations,
but was of the view that the core issues of agriculture, non-agricultural
market access (NAMA) and services should be prioritised.
According to trade officials, Ghana said that it could support the
proposal on holding a stocktaking workshop on anti-dumping that was
tabled by the FANs, but this should be extended to fisheries subsidies
On the other hand, Australia questioned the use of a stocktaking workshop
on AD, as such an exercise would take the Group backwards.
It said that such an exercise would no longer be relevant as many
members have substantially changed their anti-dumping systems.
Canada said that it could not support the holding of a stocktaking
workshop at this time. The Rules Group needs to find the right time,
According to trade officials, the US said that it supports the Friends
of Fish statement. It also believes that members should focus on agriculture,
NAMA and services.
On the proposal for a stocktaking workshop on the anti-dumping negotiations,
the US aligned itself with Australia's position. It said that falling
back into the stalemate of the past will not result in progress.
Brazil said that there is need for clarity on the core issues before
advancing on Rules. It voiced agreement with Australia in questioning
the use of bringing back old issues on anti-dumping.
The European Union said that it is becoming increasingly urgent to
explore other Doha Round issues. A Doha outcome would not be possible
without some results in Rules, it added.
In the absence of an agreement on the stocktaking exercise, the EU
proposed that the WTO Secretariat produce background notes on the
Rules issues, and also to conduct briefing sessions similar to those
that were held in the TRIPS Council earlier in the week.
According to trade officials, the US said that the EU proposal suffers
from the same flaws as the stocktaking proposal.
It would be a Secretariat-to-member conversation when what is needed
is member-to-member engagement, said the US.
It said that stocktaking might be useful in some groups but not in
all. A chair's paper that was produced in 2011 already gives a lot
of information on the issues under negotiations in Rules, it added.
According to trade officials, the Chair, Ambassador Wayne McCook of
Jamaica, posed the question of whether members feel that Rules is
indispensable to the work programme on the Doha Round.
China, the Philippines and Chile responded that Rules and other Doha
Round issues, in addition to the core issues, are already on the table
as mandated by Ministers.
The Chair said that a lot of informal conversations between members
must take place, and that he is open to consulting with members at
For structured consultations, the Chair announced that he would hold
the next round in the last week of March. +