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The DDA Negotiations. The Ninth WTO Trade Round launched in the Qatari City of Doha at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in November 2001 Unsuccessful attempt to launch the negotiations in December 1999 in Seattle, USA

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the dda negotiations
The DDA Negotiations
  • The Ninth WTO Trade Round launched in the Qatari City of Doha at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in November 2001
  • Unsuccessful attempt to launch the negotiations in December 1999 in Seattle, USA
  • Concerns of developing countries – marginalisation in the MTS, lack of transparency and inclusiveness
  • Members resolved to place the needs and interests of developing countries at the heart of the negotiations
  • Work Programme: TWO tracks – negotiating issues under the auspices of the TNC and non-negotiating issues under the auspices of the General Council
areas under the negotiations
Areas Under The Negotiations
  • Agriculture (Including Cotton)
  • Services
  • Non- Agricultural Market Access
  • TRIPS (GIs Register)
  • WTO Rules (AD, Subsidies, RTAs)
  • DSU (outside Single-Undertaking)
  • Trade and Environment
  • Special and Differential Treatment
  • Trade Facilitation
principal elements of the dda
Principal Elements of the DDA
  • Doha Declaration (WT/MIN/(01)/DEC/1)
  • 1 August 2004, General Council Decision (WT/L/579)
  • Hong Kong Declaration (WT/MIN(05)/DEC)
intractable issues
Intractable Issues
  • Negotiations resumed in Feb 2007 after suspension in July 2006
  • No breakthrough as yet. Members still clinging to established positions
  • What are the intractable issues in agriculture and NAMA preventing across-the-board progress in all the negotiating areas?
  • Market Access
  • Domestic Support
  • Export Competition
agriculture market access
Agriculture-Market Access
  • Substantial improvement for all agricultural products
  • Agreement in HK that a tiered formula would be used to reduce tariffs – 4 tiers
  • Progressivity – higher tariffs to be reduced by a greater percentage
  • Lack of progress on the tariff bands (thresholds) and the cuts to be made within each band
market access tariffs
Market Access - Tariffs
  • Four bands
  • G-20 thresholds for developed countries, with linear cut
  • EC to do more - cuts in magnitude between the EC and US
  • Cut in top band critical issue – the rest will be proportionate to that
  • Issue of disproportionality if high number of tariffs in top band (e.g. 25%-30% of tariffs)
  • Increasing readiness to discuss average cut – maybe above 50%
other market access issues
Other Market Access Issues
  • Treatment of Sensitive products
    • 1% - US, Cairns, Brazil
    • 8% - EC
    • 15% - G10
  • Treatment of Special Products
    • 20% of tariff lines – G-33
    • 5 products – US
    • Intermediate positions – Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia
    • TQRs – domestic consumption, current import volumes and the cuts to be made
other market access issues1
Other Market Access Issues
  • Special Safeguard Mechanism
    • Volume and price triggers
    • G-33 prefers a lower threshold, while most developed countries prefer higher thresholds
  • Erosion of preferences
  • Tropical products
  • Commodities
domestic support
Domestic Support
  • High levels of support provided by developed countries
  • For budgetary reasons, very few developing countries are providing subsidies
  • Amounts provided by most developing countries inconsequential- could be justified as de minimis (10% of the total value of agricultural production or under Article 6.2 of the agreement on Agriculture – investment and input subsidies)
  • Agreement that there will be three bands for the reduction of AMS/OTDS – the EC in the top band, Japan and the US in the second band and all Members in the third band
domestic support otds
Domestic Support - OTDS
  • Must meet the mandate of effective cuts
  • For US, must do more
    • Reduce OTDS – less than $19 billion & above very low teens
    • Political link to other areas of the negotiation (works both ways)
  • For EC
    • Minimum cut likely to be 70% cut but could be 75%-80%
  • Developing countries with no AMS exempt from OTDS cut
domestic support1
Domestic Support
  • De minimis – reductions in the level that could be provided by developed countries: from 5% to 2.5% or lower?
  • Blue Box – reduction from 5% to 2.5 % of the average level of total production during a determined base period?
  • Green Box – strengthened disciplines?
export competition
Export Competition
  • Agreement in HK to eliminate all forms of export subsidies by 2013
  • Export subsidies on cotton eliminated by developed countries at the end of 2006
  • Parallel commitments in respect of export credits, export credits guarantee schemes
  • STEs – monopoly powers
  • Food aid
  • The formula – Simple Swiss Formula with two co-efficients or a Swiss-type formula with variable co-efficients depending on the average tariff rates of Members
  • Overwhelming support for the use of a simple swiss formula with two co-efficients
  • Should co-effiecients be within sight of each other?
  • Yes for developed countries and no for developing countries
  • Proposals range from 5 to 30 per cent
nama other issues
NAMA – Other issues
  • Paragraph 6 countries
  • Treatment of unbound tariffs
  • Flexibilities for developing countries – paragraph 8
  • LDCs, small economies etc
  • Sectorals
  • NTBs
  • Number of offers on the table satisfactory
  • Key issue is the quality of the offers
  • Plurilateral requests/offers – key to improving offers on the table?
  • Issues of concern to developing countries /interests – mode 4
  • GATS rules – progress in recent weeks on domestic regulation disciplines – draft being discussed by Members
  • RTAS – transparency mechanism
  • No substantive progress on WTO disciplines
  • With respect to antidumping and subsidies, Members have tabled a number of proposals
  • Remains to be seen what Members will accept
  • Linkages with other areas
special and differential treatment
Special and Differential Treatment
  • Not much progress
  • 28 Agreement-specific proposals – should they be harvested or revisited
  • Decisions on 5 Agreement-specific LDCs proposals in HK
  • Category II proposals – not much progress in the relevant WTO bodies
  • 16 remaining category I and III proposals
trade facilitation
Trade Facilitation
  • Good progress in the negotiations
  • Text-based contributions from Members – platform for a draft text to be circulated by the Chairman for Members’ consideration
  • Special and differential treatment for LDCs and developing countries in general
  • Nature of disciplines – voluntary or watertight?
other issues
Other Issues
  • Trade and Environment
  • TRIPS Issues – Extension of the additional protection provided to wines and spirits to other products
  • TRIPS Register – automatic legal effects or not - deadlock?
concluding the round 2007
Concluding the Round: 2007?
  • Challenge: how to make most of the renewed political commitment
  • Work progressing in all negotiating bodies
  • Role of G4+/- mainly on agriculture;
  • Other offstage bilateral/plurilateral contacts
process as foreshadowed
Process as foreshadowed
  • Establish modalities in Ag and NAMA: July?
  • Prepare schedules based on modalities
  • Verification of schedules
  • Conclude negotiations in other areas including services
  • Legal drafting
  • Signing of Final Act
  • Domestic ratification processes
us domestic considerations
US Domestic Considerations
  • July breakthrough possible?
  • TPA renewal/extension?
  • US Farm Bill reform?
  • Conclude Round in 2007?
thank you


Edwini Kessie

Counsellor, C-TNC Division, WTO