Monthly Archives: July 2004

WTO “framework” text to be revised

The two parts of the framework text issued by the Trade Negotiations Committee Chair (Ambassador Oshima) last weekend that have attracted the strongest objections are those on Agriculture (drafted by NZ Ambassador Tim Grosser) and on Non-agricultural market access. As he foreshadowed a week ago, Grosser is going to attempt a ‘re-write’ of his text […]

Brazil wants the UN restructured

A five-nation ‘Portuguese-speaking’ summit reiterated Brazil’s demand made by its President, Lula da Silva, at the UN last month bq. “Latin Americans have the right to have a permanent representative, as well as Africa and Asia,” he said after attending the Global Compact Leaders Summit.  “It is not a bad thing for the UN to […]

Experts gloomy on WTO agriculture framework

The always fascinating IIBEL poll of WTO experts and insiders appeared over the weekend with a gloomy assessment of the current talks on a framework for continuing the agriculture negotiations bq. “Respondents are hedging their bets as the Geneva process heads into the final week, with just about one-third predicting that consensus will be reached […]

Manoeuvring on the Framework text

The next two weeks, in the run-up to the WTO’s General Council meeting, will probably see a lot of public theatre and private arm-twisting over the proposed ‘framework’ for concluding the negotiations—particularly the agricultural section of it. But I’m sticking to “my view”: that the rather modest ideas in the “current text”: on agriculture will […]

Dangerous, foolish and unjust

Late last week the Australian Government released a rhetorically overblown pamphlet—described as a ‘whitepaper’—entitled “Transnational terrorism: the threat to Australia” that argues we are exceptionally the target of the envy and hatred of an international conspiracy of muslims: bq. They feel threatened by our values and the place we take in the world. Our international […]

WWF to sue EU over secretive trade policy

This could be an interesting, quasi-constitutional, challenge for the EU. bq. The World Wide Fund (WWF) has taken the Council of Ministers to the European Court of Justice over allegations that its influential 133 Committee on external trade has wrongly withheld documents requested by the organisation (“Euractiv”: The 113 Committee takes its name from a […]

WTO “framework” looks safe

It is likely that the “framework text”: will attract ‘consensus’. No major participant has indicated that it will object to the most contentious section: “agriculture”: Of course, the Indian government could decide to hold out to the last moment—as it did in Doha in 2001. bq. From India’s point of view, the draft on agriculture […]