WTO

Policy Brief 58, March 2019

Why the US Proposals on Development will Affect all Developing Countries and Undermine WTO

By Aileen Kwa and Peter Lunenborg

US submitted two highly problematic proposals to the WTO in January and February 2019, undermining the place of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) for developing countries at the WTO. In the first paper (WT/GC/757), US criticises the practice of self-declared development status by developing countries arguing that the North-South construct no longer makes sense due to “great development strides”. The second paper (WT/GC/764) – a proposed Decision for the General Council – provides a way to operationalise what was in the first paper. It gave criteria that would exclude 34 Members or 53.6 percent of global population from S&D treatment in “current and future WTO negotiations”. This fundamentally changes S&D from an unconditional right for all developing countries to a concession that may or may not be provided. Even for those developing countries that are not part of the 34 excluded Members, the US notes that in sector-specific negotiations, other Members could also be “ineligible for special and differential treatment.” This paper critiques the US approach on Special and Differential Treatment and concludes that these papers by the US cannot be the basis for any further discussions. All developing countries must be able to decide the pace of their adjustment to trade rules.

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SC Working Lunch, February 2019

Title:               US proposal on Special and Differential Treatment (WT/GC/W/764)

Date:               Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 13:00 – 15:00 

Venue:            South Centre, Geneva

Organizers:   The South Centre 

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SC Working Lunch, February 2019

Title:               Working Lunch Meeting on US’ proposal on ‘AN UNDIFFERENTIATED WTO’

Date:               Monday, 11th February, 2019, 13:00 – 15:00 

Venue:            South Centre, Geneva

Organizers:   The South Centre

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South Centre Analysis, 25 February 2019

WHY THE US PROPOSAL (WT/GC/W/764) WILL AFFECT ALL DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND UNDERMINE THE MULTILATERAL SYSTEM

US’ recent submissions to the WTO attempt to fundamentally change the concept of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) at the WTO from an unconditional right for all developing countries to conditioned concessions available to only a few. This will affect developing countries and undermine the multilateral trading system!

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SC Working Lunch, November 2018

Title:                              Discussions on the Appellate Body crisis at the WTO

Date and Time:             Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

Venue:                           South Centre, Geneva

Organizer:                     The South Centre

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SC Book Launch, November 2018

Title:                       Negotiation Dynamics of the WTO – An Insider’s Account by Mohan Kumar

Date and Time:      Thursday, 15 November 2018, 17:00-19:00

Venue:                    Julius Nyerere Room, The South Centre, Geneva

Organizers:            South Centre, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)

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SC Working Lunch, November 2018

Title:                              Working Lunch on Agriculture (Export competition)

Date and Time:             Friday, 9th November 2018, 13:00-15:00

Venue:                           South Centre, Geneva

Organizer:                     The South Centre

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ACP Refresher, October 2018

Title:              African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Refresher: WTO Agriculture Negotiations

Date:              17 October 2018

Venue:           WTO Room XX,  William Rappard Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

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African Group Meeting, October 2018

Title:                              Meeting on Agricultural Market Access

Date and Time:             Monday, 8th October 2018, 15:00-18:00

Venue:                           World Trade Organisation, Geneva

Organizer:                     African Group

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SC WTO Public Forum Event, 2 October 2018

Title:                             Intellectual Property and Health: The Use of TRIPS Flexibilities to Achieve                                                    SDGs

Date and Time:            2 October 2018, 11:30-13:00

Venue:                          Room S1, The World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva

Organizer:                   The South Centre

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SC Meeting on E-Commerce, the Digital Economy and WTO, 5 October 2018

Title:                             Meeting on E-Commerce, the Digital Economy and WTO

Date and Time:            5 October 2018, 1-5.30 PM

Venue:                          South Centre, Geneva

Organizer:                    The South Centre, Centre for WTO Studies and the United                                                                            Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

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