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”:–499?204&OIDN=1507967&-tt=td) 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 […]