EU charts the future of WTO talks
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CTA. 2002. EU charts the future of WTO talks. Agritrade, August 2002. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52710
In a speech to the Foreign Trade Association in Brussels on June 5th, EU Trade...
In a speech to the Foreign Trade Association in Brussels on June 5th, EU Trade Commissioner Lamy highlighted the growing importance of regulatory barriers to trade. He argued that new post-Uruguay round issues required a significant upgrading of the institutional infrastructure in many developing countries. He noted the disappointment of many developing countries with the consequences of the Uruguay Round and that many felt 'the bargain they struck in Marrakech turned out to be a bum deal; the burden of the new obligations they had accepted turned out to be more onerous than initially expected, and access to developed-country markets was harder than expected to realise in practice' According to the Commissioner the trade agenda is about 'market access vs rules' with better and more focused technical assistance being necessary if developing countries are to meet higher standards. He also expressed concern at the pace of progress in the talks in Geneva since Doha. In its efforts to promote an acceleration of discussions the EU is planning further position papers on industrial market access, regional trade agreements, trade facilitation, investment, trade defence instruments, and competition. Significantly Lamy maintained that the Commission was committed to mainstreaming development concerns by ensuring that special and differential treatment is accorded 'as appropriate' and that 'those developing countries that need it will receive the trade-related technical assistance necessary for the implementation of existing WTO commitments, the negotiation of the new commitments and for the implementation of these new agreements'. The Commission also wants to look at the problems faced by some developing countries in achieving an effective capacity to trade. Comment: Significantly, while recognising that many developing countries felt they had struck a 'bum deal' in Marrakech, Commissioner Lamy continues to place emphasis on the provision of technical assistance to ensure that the commitments entered into by developing countries are fully implemented. But he does appear to give some priority to revising those existing commitments which are proving particularly onerous to developing countries.