US’ Section 301 Actions: Why They are Illegitimate and Misguided
By Aileen Kwa and Peter Lunenborg
This research paper examines the US’ Section 301 unilateral actions against China, stemming from the US’ concerns over China’s ambitious industrial policies and its rapid technological advancements. It outlines the accusations of the US regarding China’s conditions for technology transfer and what the US sees as overly intrusive Chinese government involvement in investments. It looks in detail at why the US’ actions are in fact illegitimate and misguided. (more…)
Implications of a US Border Adjustment Tax, Especially on Developing Countries
A new protectionist device, the US “border adjustment” tax, is being planned that could devastate the exports of developing countries and cause American and other foreign companies to relocate. This policy brief explains the complexities and implications of this proposed measure and the major question of whether such a measure will violate the rules of the WTO is also examined.
The WTO’s Special and Differential Treatment Negotiations (Paragraph 44)
Paragraph 44 of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration mandates the ‘strengthening’ of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) provisions in the WTO Agreement, and making them ‘more precise, effective and operational’. This Note tracks the evolution of these negotiations from the start of the Doha Round in 2001 until the Nairobi Ministerial in December 2015. (more…)
The WTO has a 1998 Work Programme on E-commerce. This Work Programme provides for the discussion of trade-related issues relating to electronic commerce to take place in the relevant WTO bodies: the Council for Trade in Services; the Council for Trade in Goods; the Council for TRIPS; and the Committee for Trade and Development. The General Council was envisaged to play a review or oversight role. (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…)
Key Issues Still Under Brackets in the Trade Facilitation Text Presented to the Ministerial Conference in Bali (based on Room W-JOB/TNC/35)
The following document comments on the remaining bracketed articles in the trade facilitation (TF) draft text (Room W- JOB/TNC/35) presented to the ministerial conference in Bali. It includes five main sections, including: (more…)
WTO Negotiations on Trade Facilitation: Development Perspectives
A possible new trade facilitation agreement has occupied the most time in the preparations for the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Bali in December. A new experts report is being issued by the South Centre on “WTO’s Trade Facilitation Negotiations: Development Perspectives”. (more…)
A WTO Treaty on Trade Facilitation? Regulatory, Institutional, Legislative, and Cost Challenges for Developing Countries
The WTO members are negotiating a possible trade facilitation agreement, which could be a potential outcome in the WTO’s Bali Ministerial in December. However, the developing countries face many challenges in such a treaty and have asked for special and differential treatment as well as finance to meet the costs of new obligations. (more…)
Global Value Chains (GVCs) from a Development Perspective
The current discourse on Global Value Chains by key proponents and also the WTO Secretariat is that developing countries should liberalise – in goods and services, and conclude a Trade Facilitation Agreement. (more…)
The twists and turns of the Doha talks and the WTO
By Martin Khor
Welcome to this session on Doha and the Multilateral Trading System – From Impasse to development? which the South Centre is pleased to co-organise.
This session aims to look at what the future holds for the WTO, in particular in relation to the development dimension, and the interests of the developing countries.
After the Uruguay Round, the developing countries went into a mood of reflection because many of them were not active in the negotiations and did not fully understand what they had signed on to or the implications. So for a number of years after 1995, for the developing countries, their priority in the WTO was to understand the obligations they had entered into and the problems of implementation, particularly in new issues such as TRIPS, Services, TRIMS which they had been obliged to take on as new obligations, in exchange for the re-entering of agriculture and textiles into the GATT system. And to get the WTO to review and possibly reform its rules.
Special and Differential Treatment Negotiations: State of Play and Proposed Language for WTO’s MC8.
There has been some but not a significant amount of progress made on the Special and Differential Treatment negotiations mandated in the Doha Declaration (para 44) for developing countries. This paper provides an overview of: (more…)