The United States this week succeeded in softening the demands of a draft ministerial declaration with respect to cutting its domestic cotton subsidies after many intense meetings with ministers from five West African countries demanding the elimination of these trade- distorting payments.
After a lot of discussions and generally little sleep for the major players, World Trade Organization trade ministers yesterday crossed a major hurdle and adopted a Hong Kong ministerial declaration that calls for achieving full modalities in the Doha agriculture and market-opening negotiations in industrials by the end of next April
The unholy trio of the EU, US and Pascal Lamy succeeded in their attempt to force developing countries into accepting a Ministerial Declaration that further forecloses the development of countries of the South
The Doha Development Round of WTO negotiations was supposed to be precisely that - a chance to put the needs of developing nations at the centre of trade reforms in a bid to ease poverty and provide increased opportunities for the world's poorest.
media advisory: Although a face-saving deal was reached on trade issues here today, the global trade system remains in crisis. Today's agreement contains proposals that will further threaten the global environment and the livelihoods of the worlds' poorest people.
In finalizing the HK Ministerial the most contentious issue on agriculture and cotton is on export subsidies and a trade-distorting export subsidy. Thus the central question is: what is an export subsidy and a trade-distorting export subsidy?