How are WTO Rounds Negotiated?

Report
International Trade Negotiations:
WTO and FTAs
- John Riley, NZ High Commission, London
Our panel:
Yaryna Ferencevych, US Embassy (State)
Jennie Wilson, US Embassy (FAS)
Tiffany McDonald, Aus High Com
Matt Molloy, DEFRA, UK
and John Riley
Things to consider:
Countries tend to act in their national interest.
What is it that drives the decisions
of politicians and officials?
Trade Policy
•World Trade Organisation (WTO)
•Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)
•Bilateral Trade Access (removing
regulatory barriers)
WTO
•Secretariat in Geneva
•153 Members
•Accession process – college fraternity
•Membership led oganisation
WTO (continued…)
•Decisions made by consensus
•Surprisingly very effective (dispute
settlement)
•Ministerial meetings roughly biannually
2 important WTO principles
•National Treatment
•Most Favoured Nation
History
•Began 1947 with the GATT
•Negotiating Rounds – GATT, Kennedy, Tokyo,
Uruguay
•Started with non-agricultural subsidies then tariffs
•Technical barriers addressed later
How are WTO Rounds Negotiated?
•By CONSENSUS!
Yeah, nah… but there are 153 Members so…
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Negotiating Groups
Modalities
Chair’s texts
Ministerial Meetings
The green room
How are WTO Rounds negotiated?
•The majors crunching it
•Splitting the difference (don’t get salami
sliced)
•Hand of God text
•Lock them in a room!
Why would they do a deal?
Important factors:
•Political capital = industry + votes
•Reason for urgency (TPA)
WTO Doha Round
•Commenced 2001
•Called Doha Development Agenda
•Incomplete
Some important Doha dates
•2001 mandate
•July 2004 framework
•Hong Kong December 2005
•Came close to modalities in July 2008
The Negotiating Groups
•Agriculture (subsidies and tariffs)
•Non-agricultural market access (tariffs and
NTBs)
•Services
Other Negotiating Groups
•Rules (anti-dumping, fish subsidies)
•TRIPS (intellectual property, GIs)
•Trade facilitation
Special and Differential Treatment
•Developed countries
•Developing countries
•Least developed countries
Who are the key players?
•The G4
Do they have offensive interests or defensive
interests?
• If a WTO Member wants to reduce tariffs or
subsidies…
the Member has offensive interests
• If a WTO Member wants to maintain tariffs or
subsidies…
the Member has defensive interests
Agriculture:
Domestic support
(subsidies reductions)
Agriculture:
Market Access
(tariff reductions)
Non-agricultural goods:
Market Access
(tariff reductions)
US
defensive
offensive
offensive
offensive (?!)
defensive
offensive
offensive
offensive
defensive
offensive
defensive
defensive
EU
Brazil
India
Is each Member mainly
offensive or defensive?
Mainly wants to reduce measures
Mainly wants to maintain measures
Which Members are saying this?
“We can’t offer to reduce nonagricultural tariffs until other
countries offer to decrease
agricultural subsidies and
agricultural tariffs”
- Brazil and India
Which Member is saying this?
“We can’t offer to reduce
agricultural subsidies until
other countries offer to
decrease their tariffs”
- US
Which Member is saying this?
“We can’t offer to reduce
agricultural tariffs until other
countries offer to reduce
agricultural subsidies and
non-agricultural tariffs”
- EU
What about China?
G20 (developing countries wanting reduced
agriculture subsidies by developed
countries)
Argentina, Bolivia, Plurinational State of,
Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt,
Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria,
Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, South
Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uruguay,
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of, Zimbabwe
G33 (developing countries who are
defensive on agriculture tariffs)
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia,
Plurinational State of, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, China, Congo,
Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada,
Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia,
Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Republic of, Madagascar, Mauritius,
Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan,
Panama, Peru, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Sri Lanka,
Suriname, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda,
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of, Zambia, Zimbabwe
G10 (defensive on ag)
Chinese Taipei, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea,
Republic of, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Norway,
Switzerland
Cairns group (offensive on ag
subsidies and tariffs)
Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Plurinational
State of, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia,
New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru,
Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay
Cairns group (offensive on ag
subsidies and tariffs)
Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Plurinational
State of, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia,
New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru,
Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay
G100
What is the
situation with
Doha now?
FTA Negotiations
•Substantially all trade
•Can’t deal with subsidies
Some common FTA areas
•Goods (tariffs)
•Services
•Investment
•Government procurement
•Intellectual property
•TBT/SPS (Non-tariff barriers)
•Labour and Environment
Bilateral Market Access
•e.g. Sanitary and
Phytosanitary conditions
•Sometimes justified
•Sometimes not 
Thank You!

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