WTO Doha negotiations to resume in Geneva
Senior officials from the key trading nations are to
reunite next week in Geneva in order to restart WTO Doha negotiations and push
for a breakthrough this autumn.
DG Agriculture's top official, Jean-Luc Demarty, is expected to arrive in
Geneva on Tuesday. The Director General will join fellow senior officials from
other key nations to discuss technical solutions to unresolved questions from
July's Geneva ministerial.
Chief among these will be the Special
Safeguard Mechanism (SSM), the issue which ultimately derailed talks in Geneva
and thwarted the progress yielded in the 9-day talks. Positive
Many positive statements of intent have been made over
recent weeks, with US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, Brazilian Foreign
Minister Celso Amorim and even French President Nicolas Sarkozy - holder of the
EU Council presidency - all issuing support for a return to the negotiating
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy has visited India and the US -
the key protagonists in the SSM disagreement - since the talks, and has now
warned that time is running out if WTO members are serious about reviving talks
Crawford Falconer, the chair
of farm trade negotiations, sounded a positive note as he told reporters that
negotiators were "are all in a mood to roll their sleeves up and get to work,"
after the first meeting of the full WTO membership to take place since the
The SSM is a new safeguard tool proposed for developing
countries, allowing import surged to be met with a tariff hike. Disagreement
occurred in July over whether these tariff hikes should be allowed to rise over
pre-Doha bound levels, and how big a surge should trigger its usage.
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