Continued lack of engagement in agricultural talks
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CTA. 2004. Continued lack of engagement in agricultural talks. Agritrade, January 2004. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52866
After the November 20 th -21 st 2003 informal ‘green room' consultation...
After the November 20 th -21 st 2003 informal ‘green room' consultation involving around 30 key WTO members, the Chair, Carlos Pérez del Castillo, expressed frustration at a ‘persistence of differences on big issues' (including market access, domestic support and export competition). Given the limited progress, the European Commission expressed doubts about the relevance of the senior officials' meeting on December 15 th . At the meeting the G20 was pushing for: a reduction in amber-box measures on a product-specific basis; the phasing-out of blue-box measures and a strengthening of disciplines on green-box measures; on market-access questions, a mandatory expansion of tariff-rate quotas; the elimination of the special agricultural safeguard which developed countries can use (e.g. the measures which protect the EU sugar sector). The EU for its part pushed for an extension of the ‘peace clause', a move firmly opposed by the G20 and the Cairns Group. At the close of the General Council meeting on December 16 th 2003 the Chair noted that discussions had not brought about a major breakthrough or closed any of the gaps but it had made issues clearer in people's minds and meant that there was a willingness to restart negotiating groups while maintaining a firm political oversight. The meeting had, however, focussed more on procedures than issues of substance, and some argued that less time should be spent on procedures since once movement occurred on agricultural questions, movement in other areas would follow.