Tag Archives: wto

Changing patterns of global agrifood trade

Developing countries are now the dynamic motor behind the growth in global agrifood trade.

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The G-33 public stock-holding proposal for Bali

The intellectual case for the G-33 public stock-holding proposal for the Bali mini-package is weak and the proposal itself has the potential to lead to damaging trade distortions, not least for other developing countries.

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Life after Bali for the WTO Doha Round

New working paper examines the stalled Doha Round negotiations in agriculture and examines the options facing the multilateral trading system.

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The Doha Round Bali ‘mini-package’ in agriculture

A summary of the agricultural issues being discussed as part of the Bali mini-package in the Doha Development Round.

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Prospects for a Doha Round mini-package at Bali this year

Another failure at Bali would surely bring the stuttering Doha Round to an end, even if no WTO member wants to be the first to pronounce it dead. But what should take its place?

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WTO EU Trade Policy Review 2013

Latest WTO review of EU trade policy shows marginal fall in average MFN applied tariffs but there are still many tariff peaks.

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Latest EU AMS notification confirms declining trend in WTO amber box support

The latest EU notification of domestic support to the WTO contains no surprises, and documents the continuing downward trend in amber box support in the EU total.

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The changing landscape of agricultural support

While levels of agricultural support and protection have been falling in OECD countries, agricultural support in a number of (but not all) emerging economies has been increasing. Rising agricultural support in emerging economies may lead to these countries breaching their WTO commitments, and this trend will raise difficult questions about the reasonableness and fairness of these commitments.

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New Commission study on impacts of Doha Round

New study suggests the EU along with China would be the major winner from a conclusion of the Doha Round negotiations, with limited impacts expected for EU agriculture.

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Russian WTO accession by end year?

There is now a real prospect that Russia will gain membership of the WTO before year end, which would bring benefits for the EU agri-food sector.

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Doha round agreement would leave EU farm subsidies untouched

Decoupling means EU has plenty of headroom if a WTO agreement to cap trade-distorting farm subsidies is reached

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The development angle

The CAP is still hurting developing countries, say the UN and the OECD. But will European development NGOs engage in the battle over the future of the CAP?

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DG Agri study: Don’t be afraid of liberalization

A new study shows that Europeans won’t go hungry without the CAP

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CAP support levels reach new high

CAP subsidies as reported to the WTO reached the highest level in ten years in 2006/07 at over €90 billion.

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Another day, another declaration

The European Food Declaration calls for a new agriculture policy based around ‘food sovereignty’.

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New book reveals extent of ‘box shifting’

When the negotiators in the Uruguay Round of the GATT introduced the concept of the ‘green box’ – farm support measures that are minimally or non-trade distorting and therefore exempt from any limits – few would have foreseen that within 15 years, the bulk of farm support in the developed world would be in the [...]

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Latest WTO agriculture update

Pascal Lamy, the WTO Director-General, provided an end-of-term report on the status of the Doha Round trade negotiations at the July meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee before delegates left for their August break. This is what he had to say about the agricultural negotiations. As you know, work in agriculture is continuing, particularly in [...]

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+++New WTO modalities paper is published+++

Full details at the WTO’s website. WTO Director General Pascal Lamy said: “These revised texts set the stage for a decisive moment in the Doha round. Ministers and other senior officials will soon arrive for intensive negotiations the week of 21 July. They need negotiating documents which are clear and precise as they consider the [...]

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Animal welfare dilemmas

One of the advances made when Franz Fischler was farm commissioner was to recognise farm animals as sentient beings rather than agricultural products. This provided a basis for treating animal welfare as one of the planks of multifunctionality. However, a vet who is an animal welfare expert suggested in a talk (under Chatham House rules) [...]

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Irish farmers backtrack on Lisbon vote

Having previously run a highly visible campaign threatening to derail the imminent referendum on the EU’s Lisbon Treaty on account of the EU’s negotiating position in the WTO, the Irish Farmers Association has fallen back into line with it’s longstanding position of support for Irish membership of the EU. As previously noted, Ireland does spectacularly [...]

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Irish farmers: biting the hand that feeds them?

The Republic of Ireland will hold a referendum on ratification of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty on 12 June 2008. The Irish Farmers Association is urging a No vote, on the grounds that the EU’s push towards more open world markets in agriculture could expose them to competition from overseas, notably from Latin America. Ireland gets [...]

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EU food safety rules: Do as I say, not as I do

The timing, if not the chicken, is delicious. On the same day (and in the same newspaper!) that German farms minister Horst Seehofer called for the EU to export its standards of environmental, animal welfare and food production regulations to China and India, it has been revealed that member state governments have been covering up [...]

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Irish farmers flex muscles in Lisbon Treaty referendum

The WTO negotiations have become a live issue in Irish politics because Ireland is the only EU country which will hold a referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, and the campaign provides an opportunity for interest groups to maximise their bargaining strength. For example, farm groups who are traditionally pro-EU in referendum votes have threatened [...]

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Podcast: February Agriculture Council round-up with Roger Waite

Roger Waite is a long-standing member of the Brussels agricultural press pack and he will be giving a podcast round-up of the monthly Agriculture Council meetings, when farm ministers from all 27 EU member states met to decide the future of EU agriculture and rural development policy. In this month’s meeting, EU farm ministers debated [...]

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WTO Agricultural Chair presents new modalities paper

The Chair of the agricultural negotiations at the WTO, Crawford Falconer, released his latest version of the draft modalities for an agricultural agreement on Friday last 8 February. This is the culmination of a series of intensive meetings since early January among a representative group of some 37 WTO members. Although there are still many [...]

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Glimmer of hope over Doha

International trade negotiations have been the most effective driver of CAP reform for over fiften years. I haven’t commented on progress in the Doha Round for some time because prospects have looked so bleak since the collapse of the G-4 talks at Potsdam. But there does seem to be a glimmer of hope.

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New French farm minister: a ray of hope for reform?

After Nicholas Sarkozy appeared to indicate that it was ‘business as usual’ in French agricultural policy, the appointment of Christine Lagarde as farm minister gives a ray of hope. Named as the 30th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2006, she was formerly trade minister.

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‘Suspended pessimism’ remains Doha mood

Bilateral discussions have continued between the key participants in the Doha Round farm trade talks, most recently in London, but although clarification of the issues and what might be possible continues, there has been little real progress. Key participants in Geneva have described the overall mood as one of ‘suspended pessimism’.

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Farm trade deal faces many hurdles

Talks on the resumption of the stalled Doha Round took place in the margins of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland during the past week, but many hurdles remain to be overcome before an acceptable farm trade deal can be sketched out. Such …

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Top level push on Doha Round may not work

An attempt by President Bush and Commission President Barosso to re-start the stalled Doha Round trade talks may not succeed in the face of rising protectionist sentiment in the new Congress and intransigence over subsidies in the EU. Meeting in Wash…

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Green box does distort trade, claims Indian study

A report commissioned by the Indian Department of Commerce and carried out by UNCTAD’s Indian team challenges the EU’s argument that decoupled aid payments have only a minimal trade distorting effect. According to the researchers’ model, EU farm exports would fall by a massive 45 per cent if Green Box subsidies were removed and production [...]

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