World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO Doha Round Bulletin

Week ending 14 May 2004 (Issue 2004/14)

Key Issues

EU views on Doha Negotiation Agenda

European Union Commissioners Pascal Lamy (Trade) and Franz Fischler (Agriculture) issued a letter to all WTO Trade Ministers on 9 May 2004 setting out EU views on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

Mr Vaile welcomed the letter as a “signal of EU commitment to make progress in the negotiations”. The letter dealt with a range of issues within the DDA, including agriculture, non-agricultural market access, services, the Singapore issues and issues of particular concern to developing countries. Mr Vaile was heartened by the “indication in the EU letter that it is ready to move on elimination of all export subsidies” but noted that “much work also remains to be done to deliver an acceptable outcome on other parts of the negotiations, in particular an outcome on agricultural market access that would actually result in improved trade flows”.

The EU letter has been a focus of discussion at the annual OECD ministerial meeting and related informal discussions in Paris this week – a report will follow in next week’s bulletin.

The full text of Mr Vaile’s media release can be accessed at:
http://www.trademinister.gov.au/releases/2004/mvt031_04.html.

APEC Business Leaders call for action on WTO talks

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) today expressed concern about the state of the Doha Round negotiations, and urged APEC Trade Ministers to “bring a greater sense of urgency to reinvigorating the stalled talks”. ABAC members, meeting in Taipei, identified the successful conclusion of the Doha Round as their top priority, and noted that a lack of progress in the Round “prejudices prospects for sustained economic growth and development throughout the APEC region”.

ABAC comprises of up to three members of the private sector from each APEC economy and was created by the APEC Economic Leaders in November 1995 to provide advice on business sector priorities and to push forward the APEC agenda on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

More details about ABAC can be accessed from its website via the following link:
http://www.abaconline.org.

Negotiating Group on Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA)

The Negotiating Group on Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) met from 10-12 May 2004. The meeting was organised around a short formal session on 10 May and a formal meeting on the afternoon of 12 May to take stock of progress. In between the two, members met informally to gain a better understanding of each other’s positions on the framework text for non-agricultural products, which WTO Members have agreed to develop by the end of July. To date there has been little movement in entrenched positions that emerged at Cancún. Many developing country members are waiting for substantive progress in the agriculture negotiations before engaging fully in the NAMA talks.

During the formal meetings members discussed progress in negotiations on non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and how to achieve the Doha commitment to reduce or eliminate NTBs. Members agreed to consider a proposal from the Chair involving multilateral examination and categorisation of all NTBs notified by members and detailed proposals by individual members on ways to address specific NTBs.

The next meeting of the NAMA negotiating group has been scheduled for 9-11 June 2004.

Forthcoming meetings in Geneva

MAY

17-18 General Council

17-19 Textiles Monitoring Body

19 Dispute Settlement Body

20 Ascension Day (WTO non-working day)

24-25 Dispute Settlement Body – Special Session

25-27 WTO Public Symposium

28 Dispute Settlement Body – Special Session

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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