Discussions on major regional trade agreements have overshadowed WTO activity in recent month with the Doha Round of comprehensive trade negotiations shunted aside in favor of an early harvest of just a few provisions. Negotiators are racing the clock to complete a ‘mini-package’ of trade concessions for the WTO Ministerial meeting on December 3-6 a Bali, Indonèsia. The package continues to shrink and is in danger of stalling out completely.
El pla original era desenvolupar un paquet amb tres 'pilars' de concessions comercials que cobreixen la facilitació del comerç, l'agricultura i desenvolupament, però s'ha reduït la mida del paquet com es van plantejar objeccions a lliurar un paquet com concebut. La preocupació ara és si el paquet és prou gran per ser acceptable per als participants claus.
The most progress has occurred on the development component of the Bali package. Agreement has been achieved on the text for preferential rules of origin for least-developed countries (PMA), una renúncia per proporcionar accés preferent mercat per proveïdors de servei de PMA, i un mecanisme per controlar el tractament especial i diferencial s'aplica en convenis específics WTO.
En el component de l'agricultura, hi ha una declaració en la competència d'exportació a seguir per reduir els subsidis d'exportació, una proposta sobre l'administració de tarifa tarifa quotes destinades a promoure els fluxos comercials i una proposta de seguretat alimentària per un grup de 33 developing countries led by India. They are trying to develop a ‘peace clause’ that would exempt from WTO challenge certain public stockholding programs for commodities purchased at above market prices by developing countries for food security purposes. This is a priority for the G-33 group of nations. The potential to dump accumulated stockpiles on export markets has become a key issue.
In the trade facilitation segment the issues include pre-shipment inspections and customs cooperation. Some developing countries had circulated a draft proposal to make their commitments conditional on the provision of technical assistance and capacity building. It would allow developing countries to effectively opt out of their commitments if this support was not provided. The EU and New Zealand have spoken out strongly against this proposal. The leaders of the World Bank, Fons Monetari Internacional i tres bancs regionals de desenvolupament s'han compromès a països en desenvolupament que puguin prestar l'assistència tècnica necessari per a aplicar l'acord de facilitació de comerç.
L'u. posició en l'envàs de Bali ha estat complicat per una carta de 31 agricultural and agribusiness groups in opposition to the peace clause for stockholding programs for developing countries. The peace clause was not mentioned by name, però U dins. Comerç reported that opposition to it was the intent of the letter. The letter said, "Un Bali acord que relaxa actual disciplines per a aquells (desenvolupament) Països, fins i tot amb caràcter temporal, representaria un gran pas en la direcció equivocada i s'estableix un danyar precedent per a futures converses. "
The negotiators are working against WTO internal administrative timelines. The WTO General Council has to approve whatever is negotiated. Its meeting was originally scheduled for November 5-6, but has been delayed. The Council is required to announce its meetings ten days in advance. The deadline for the Council sending relevant documents for the ministerial meeting to WTO members’ capitells també és 10 days prior to the ministerial meeting. Allowing a few days for document preparation would require a council meeting about November 20 amb un anunci de la data de la reunió de novembre 10.
This mini-package suffers from two critical flaws. It has become so small that many countries can walk away from it without losing much in trade policy. Trade facilitation becomes less appealing to developed countries if most developing countries can opt out. Since countries are not gaining much they are not willing to give-up much from their agendas.
The second flaw is that the developing countries continue to treat the talks as a one-way street where they are always receiving a benefit while developed country are on the giving side of the ledger. That helped to sink the Doha Round and is making the mini-package harder to manage. The key to economic development through trade is to move toward freer trade fast enough to generate additional economic growth, but slow enough that public policy can aid those most displaced by trade with market transition programs. Some countries are negotiating like continued protectionism is an acceptable endgame.
El Director General de l'OMC, Roberto Azevedo, has tried his best to have the mini-package completed before he leaves Geneva for Bali. That looks close to impossible now. To get resolution on a few more issues, there will likely need to be some trade-offs in Bali. The chairs of the negotiating groups on the three pillars were supposed to have already provided an update on the progress of the talks. The lack of news may mean that negotiators are coming closer to agreement or moving further apart.
Aquesta aventura amb el mini-paquet Mostra per què la ronda de Doha és acumulant pols mentre TTP, TTIP and a host of bilateral agreements are moving along. Negotiations on these agreements are tough even when all sides at the table want to be there and are willing to make critical trade-offs. If participants thought of these talks as a one-way street, they would be as dead as Doha. That does not mean trade policy officials should give up on the WTO. All of these other trade agreements in one way or another is based on the WTO agreement, com han de ser.
A recent budget proposal by Director-General Azevedo to shift resources to the dispute settlement panels and the Appellate Body indicates the continued importance of the WTO rules-based system. But the WTO has to solve underlying trade policy issues through negotiations, not just adjudicate disputes. The WTO negotiations process should be changed to allow governments as willing buyers and sellers to come to the negotiating table to solve problems, mentre la només dir cap grup organitza vols a en un altre lloc.
Ross Korves és un comerç i analista de política econòmica de veritat sobre comerç & Tecnologia (www.truthabouttrade.org). Segueix-nos: @TruthAboutTrade en Refilar | Veritat sobre comerç & Tecnologia en Facebook.