The EU claims that the Doha Development Round is good for development
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CTA. 2003. The EU claims that the Doha Development Round is good for development. Agritrade, March 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52933
Speaking in Brazil on January 30th 2003, the EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy...
Speaking in Brazil on January 30th 2003, the EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy maintained that the Doha Development Round is good for Brazil and other developing countries, since it 'will boost global economic growth by further liberalising trade and investment, and by virtue of the stability and predictability that strengthened WTO rules will bring. In identifying the challenges still faced, Commissioner Lamy highlighted: the importance of securing an agreement on access to medicines; addressing implementation issues; developing special and differential treatment provisions; and across-the-board reductions in industrial tariffs. However, in addressing the issue of special and differential treatment he argued that the days were gone when developing countries could expect indefinite exceptions to international rules, maintaining that this created second-class WTO citizens. With regard to agricultural issues he recognised that the EU has a relatively defensive position and acknowledged that the EU is 'not going to agree to dismantle the CAP'. However he did accept that in supporting its agricultural sector the EU should do it in ways 'which do not distort the world trade system'. This he maintained was the whole objective behind the EU's CAP-reform process. He highlighted the importance of special safeguard measures to addressing developing countries' food-security concerns and argued that 'what developing countries need is better market access' and 'better rules to turn this market access into a reality'. Comment: It is difficult to see how better access to the EU market for ACP countries can be achieved through the WTO process. Indeed, new EU food-safety rules are likely to make it more difficult for ACP countries to make a reality of the preferred market access which they currently enjoy. For ACP countries 'special safeguard measures' to protect their domestic markets in the face of a process of CAP reform which is improving the price competitiveness of EU exports and reducing the EU's dependence on export refunds, is likely to be a critical issue. Whether this issue can best be addressed in the context of the WTO, or through bilateral agreements with the EU, remains to be seen.