WTO’s MC10: Agriculture Negotiations– Public Stockholding
Public stockholding programmes have over the past decades proven themselves to be very effective instruments for supporting domestic producers in agricultural production. Studies have shown that in
fact, countries that are still in the process of development, where markets are not well developed, need such public stockholding programmes to support their farmers.
Many developing countries do have these programmes. This non-exhaustive list (more…)
WTO’s MC10: Agriculture Negotiations – Special Safeguard in Agriculture for Developing Countries
The agricultural safeguard is important for developing countries. Most developed countries already have access to a special agricultural safeguard as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations, and
some of them have actively utilised this Special Safeguard Provisions (SSG) through the past 20 years.
Developing countries require a similar instrument because of the many agricultural import surges taking place. (more…)
This note provides a brief on Export Competition and the four issues that it covers:
With respect to export subsidies, the EU, the Member with the largest export subsidy entitlements applies zero export subsidies under its Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020. Commitments to bind export subsidies at zero are therefore a step in the right direction but the extent of its value is limited. The Green Box remains undisciplined (more…)
Transition Period for Providing Patent Protection for Pharmaceutical Products by LDCs: The Need for Extension
How can Least Developed Countries (LDCs) make effective use of the transition period for the purposes stated in Article 66.1 of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and in particular to promote access to affordable medicines and promote local manufacturing of generic medicines? Should LDCs seek a further extension of the transition period for pharmaceutical products beyond 1 January 2016?
Subsidies and food security in WTO: a permanent solution is still pending
The current WTO rules applicable to public stockholding for food security purposes illustrate the imbalances present in the WTO rules on agriculture. The calculation of the level of subsidies on the basis of outdated fixed reference prices is a flaw that needs to be corrected. Moreover, the rigid limits imposed in the calculation of the AMS ironically penalize developing countries that did not subsidize agricultural production at the time the Uruguay Round was concluded, rather than those with a history of heavy subsidization. (more…)
Improving the Bali Peace Clause on Public Stockholding for Food Security
Since Bali and particularly in the last few months, there has been much attention on the Decision Ministers had taken at the WTO’s Bali Ministerial Conference (2013) on Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes.
At Bali, Ministers had agreed to a Peace Clause for existing Public Stockholding programmes provided by developing countries for food security purposes. I.e. if they have these programmes, countries should not be brought to the WTO’s dispute settlement if they are going beyond their domestic support commitments under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture rules. (more…)
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. (more…)
WTO’s MC9: Analysis of the Food Security ‘Peace Clause’ Text
The Peace Clause is time-limited (4 years) and partial in coverage (no inclusion of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures- ASCM). Countries can still be taken to dispute. It also has onerous and intrusive transparency and information requirements and conditions. (more…)
Discussing the Legal Basis for Entry Into Force of a Trade Facilitation Agreement
A Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has been proposed as an outcome from the Bali WTO Ministerial Conference. The TFA’s provisions create new rights and obligations for WTO Members; they alter the rights and obligations that WTO Members currently have under the WTO Agreement and its annexes. (more…)
Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement: The Case of Cameroon
This Note looks at the Costs and Benefits of an EPA for Cameroon if it would ratify the interim-EPA.
The main benefit of the EPA would be the avoidance of duties that EU importers would have to pay. If Cameroon would fall back to EU GSP, these duties would amount to USD 42.5 million / year (top-30 exports under EU GSP). In the case of the GSP+, only two key products will face tariffs: bananas and malt extract/food preparation with low cocoa contents. (more…)
The Information Technology Agreement (ITA); Considerations from a Development Perspective
This note discusses the contents of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), including the scheduling approach under the ITA, the experiences of ITA members thus far, and the propositions for expansion of the ITA product coverage. (more…)