The Doha Development AgendaState-of-PlayA Brief Overview Gerardo Thielen Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation World Trade Organization
INTRODUCTION Synthesis • Brief Background of Doha Round • Principal elements of the DDA • State-of-Play in the negotiations • The process ahead
BACKGROUND Doha Ministerial Conference 2001 • Background: Seattle, Millennium Round Ambitions, limits of Built-in-Agenda • Doha Declaration (WT/MIN/(01)/DEC/1) • Negotiation mandates + other work = Doha Development Agenda
Principal elements of the DDA Negotiations: • Agriculture and Services (Cotton added in 2003) • Non-agricultural Market Access (NAMA) • TRIPS (Register) • WTO Rules • Trade and Environment • Trade Facilitation (added in 2004) • Dispute Settlement Understanding (outside SU) • Special and Differential Treatment for developing countries
Principal elements of the DDA • Work under the General Council, but not part of Single Undertaking: • Electronic Commerce • Small Economies • Trade, Debt and Finance • Trade and Transfer of Technology • Relationship between TRIPS Agreement and the CBD, the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore. • Process Issues: • Single Undertaking – Consensus • Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) • Doha Round conclusion 1 January 2005 • Concept of “Early Harvest” • Transparency/Inclusiveness and Bottom-up approach • Special & Differential Treatment/Development Dimension. Almost 70% of Members are developing.
From Doha to MC 7 in Geneva 2009 • 2002 – 2005 A tale of missed deadlines and insufficient political will - negotiations behind schedule. • After Hong Kong Ministerial Conference little appetite for another negotiation style meeting. • While important results at Hong Kong on agriculture, TRIPS etc. Members only inching slowly closer to agreement. Some negotiating fatigue. • Early 2009, some Members call for a “regular” ministerial conference. Takes place in December 2009 • World Leaders at G20 meetings have called for 2010 conclusion. Now longest multilateral negotiation ever (2011?).
1995 Uruguay Round agreements,new WTO: goods, services, intellectual property 2000 Agriculture, services talks start March 2001 Doha Agenda launched November 2003 Cancún ministerial fails September 2004 Frameworks 1 August 2005 Hong Kong ministerial Dec 2006 talks suspended 24 July … 2007 talks resume 31 January 2008 – July Mini-Ministerial fail 2009– Global Economic Crisis, Geneva Ministerial Conference. 2010 March stocktaking CURRENT NEGOTIATIONS Pre-history(before UR): only goods Now: revised rules new commitments Future: rules revised again,more commitments
Why So Difficult? • The issues – large number and complex; • The high Level of Ambition; • 153 Members – consensus – Single Undertaking; • Public nature of negotiating – formulas instead of request-offers; • Complications arising from economic crisis and overall international agenda; • Electoral cycles;
The Development Dimension? • Special and Differential Treatment • In every element of the text • Applied in different ways depending on levels of development. • Less than Full Reciprocity; • Transparent and Inclusive Negotiating Process; • Big cuts needed in developed country farm subsidies – most distortive subsidies.
Developing Country Interests“not one size fits all” • Solidarity among developing countries, but differences clear – LDCs, SVEs, emerging economies. • North-South description in WTO is inaccurate and simplified. For example: • Preference Erosion • Agricultural Exporters v. Importers • Those seeking ambitious outcome in manufacturing/services versus those who take a more defensive position • TRIPS issues, GI extension and CBD
Agriculture - Key Issues • Flexibilities from overall reduction commitments: • Sensitive Products (largely for developed countries) • Special Products exclusively for developing countries; • Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) for developing countries; • The magnitude of the cut in cotton subsidies; • The fundamental trade-offs: • Domestic subsidy cuts in return for market access; • Political cost of providing the market access for some countries.
NAMA - Key Issues • Flexibilities to deviate from formula, e.g. • What coefficient for developing countries? Proposed coefficients of 20, 22 and 25. • At 20 countries apply half the formula cut on 14% of tariff lines or no cut to 6.5%. • With 22 it would be 10% with half cut and no cut with 5%. • No flexibility with 25; • Specific country circumstances, Argentina, South Africa and Venezuela; • Sectorals – voluntary, but some see as potential solution to higher coefficients. Basically creating duty free sectors.
Services - Key Issues • Market access – done bilaterally. Around 30 countries active in the negotiations; • LDC waiver – preferences, but in all areas or just market access not clear. • Domestic Regulation • Subsidies, safeguards • Sequencing/links with Agriculture and NAMA Modalities
TRIPS - Key issues • Multilateral Register for geographical indications for wine and spirits: • legal and participation issues divide Members • Extension of Geographical Indications • not a negotiation issue, but linked and controversial • Link between TRIPS and CBD • disclose the origin of genetic material and traditional knowledge used in their inventions when applying for a patent
Trade Facilitation - Key Issues • Negotiations to harmonize and streamline customs procedures. • Articles V, VIII and X in the GATT, dealing with goods in transit, fees and paperwork. • Capacity building/links to Aid for Trade.
Trade and Environment - Key Issues • Three mandates: • Closer co-ordination of trade and environmental policies – no conflict to date in DSB • Closer co-ordination between WTO Secretariat and MEAs • Market access for environmentally related goods and services
Development Dimension - Key Issues • Agreement specific S&D proposals totalling 88. Three categories -- 32 agreed. • Special and Differential Treatment – included in every segment of the negotiations; • Capacity Building/Aid for Trade • Trade Facilitation formula for linking implementation to reception of technical assistance
Rules - Key Issues • Anti-Dumping • Subsidies • Fisheries Subsidies • Regional Trade Agreements – Transparency Mechanism Review
Dispute Settlement Reform - Key Issues • Not part of the Single Undertaking, but clearly linked - Systemic Issue • How to improve, update in light of 15 year experience • Technical issues, sequencing and remanding; • Timetables, shorter response time; • Enabling greater developing country participation
What Next? • 80% of technical negotiation done, but Agricultural and NAMA “Modalities” still bogged down; Services also progressing slowly. • Economic crisis in 2008-9 saw first contraction (12%) in global trade for 50 years, some protectionist measures; • ...but crisis focused minds of WTO Members on other roles of the Multilateral Trading System – e.g. monitoring; • March 2010 stocktaking – some technical progress, but key political will absent. • G20– focus likely on international financial system and reform.
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