Analytical Note, November 2013

WTO’s MC9: Summary of Issues

10 documents were distributed to WTO Members on 26 November 2013 at the last General Council meeting before the Bali Ministerial Conference (MC9).  These documents are being transmitted to Bali. They include:

  • Trade Facilitation (Rm W text – JOB/TNC/35)
  • Agriculture
  • General Services (JOB/TNC/28)
  • Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes (JOB/TNC/29)
  • Understanding on Tariff Rate Quota Administration Provisions of Agricultural Products, as Defined in Article 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture (JOB/TNC/30)
  • Export Competition (JOB/TNC/31)
  • Cotton (JOB/TNC/32)
  • Development and LDC Issues
  •  Preferential Rules of Origin for LDCs (JOB/TNC/24/Rev.1)
  • Operationalization of the Waiver Concerning Preferential Treatment to Services and Service Suppliers of LDCs (JOB/TNC/25/Rev.1)
  • Duty-Free and Quota-Free Market Access for LDCs (JOB/TNC/33)
  • Monitoring Mechanism on Special and Differential Treatment (JOB/TNC/34)

As the negotiations are not completed, these texts are still bracketed. This paper provides in bullet points, what the proponents of these issues had wanted, what they attained in these still-to-be-finalised documents, and provides a short commentary of the outcomes obtained.

On balance, the package for developing countries remains highly imbalanced: a legally binding Trade Facilitation Agreement demanded primarily by developed countries, versus outcomes on issues of importance to developing countries that are not legally binding (LDC issues; export competition); very weak (Monitoring Mechanism); or time-limited and partial in application (food security; tariff-rate quota administration).

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