World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO Doha Round Bulletin

Week ending 5 March 2004 (Issue 2004/8)

Key Issues

Negotiating Groups recommence

The Special Session of the Dispute Settlement Understanding Review was the first of the WTO Doha negotiating groups to meet this week, marking a resumption of the detailed negotiations of the Doha Development Round, suspended since the September 2003 Cancún Ministerial Meeting.  The group is one of eight established under the Trade Negotiations Committee.  At the meeting Members welcomed the appointment of Australia’s Ambassador, David Spencer, as chair of the group.  Ambassador Spencer called for Members’ input on how to structure the group’s work in view of the May 2004 deadline for the DSU review to complete its task.  The next negotiating group to meet will be the group on rules, which is scheduled to meet next Thursday, with the agriculture and industrial negotiating groups meeting later in the month.

There have been many positive signals from Members that they are ready to re-engage this year.  Both European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick have indicated that they believe it is possible that broad frameworks for the agriculture and industrial negotiations could be agreed by mid-year.  Progress however, will very much depend on whether major players are willing to back their rhetoric by showing flexibility in the negotiations, particularly in the areas of agriculture and agricultural subsidies.

Forthcoming meetings in Geneva

MARCH

8-10       Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

8            Committee on Customs Valuation

9            Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries

10          Working Party on the Accession of Sudan

15-17     Textiles Monitoring Body

16-17     Negotiating Group on Rule

17-18     Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

19          Dispute Settlement Body

Contact Us

Trade Policy Section
Office of Trade Negotiations
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
BARTON ACT 0221
Fax: (02) 6261 3514
or e-mail trade.consult@dfat.gov.au

This bulletin is issued by the Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It summarises key WTO Doha Round-related activities over the past week.

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