Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, recently released a statement describing the progress of the Doha Round and outlining plans for the continued negotiations in Geneva. Overall, Lamy reports that while the negotiations remain committed to their ambitions, there has been little tangible progress in the past week. He also emphasizes that ambitions will be best served in the future through multilateral text-based negotiations.
In the area of Agriculture, members are discussing market access issues with regard to tariff caps and tariff-rate quotas, while also developing a template for scheduling commitments. Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) deliberations are occurring in several different formats, with both text-based debate and open-ended discussion over non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade.
Services discussions will now focus on domestic regulation through intensified text-based negotiations. Meanwhile, the Rules Group is honing in on anti-dumping and subsidies guidelines as well as regional trade agreements (RTAs). Deliberation on geographic identifications (GIs) for wine and spirits will also be more focused as members address four specific questions posed by the chair to encourage progress.
A new trade facilitation agreement is under formulation as members work to consolidate General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Articles for further negotiation. Additionally, the Committee on Trade and Environment Special Session (CTESS) has allowed members to discuss environmental goods and services during a September workshop and is now encouraging members to highlight environmental goods of interest.
Small Group negotiations will continue on the Monitoring Mechanism for Special and Differential Treatment, occasionally requiring open-ended meetings for group debriefing. The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) will now discuss post-retaliation and compliance, having addresses transparency, amicus briefs and remand earlier this year.
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