Untangling Fisheries Subsidies and Sustainable Development.

Conference Proceeding Title: World Trade Organization Public Forum: “Session 8: Untangling Fisheries Subsidies and Sustainable Development."Date: 02 October, 2018, Room B, World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. Background The Pacific Network on Globalization had organized a special session during the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum, on 02 October, 2018 the theme titled “Untangling fisheries subsidies and sustainable development” in the broader context of the WTO 2018 Public Forum on Trade 2030. The discussions on the topic of fisheries subsidies and sustainable development has been timely as members of the WTO, both developed and developing countries are negotiating disciplines in relation to fisheries subsidies in line with SDG 14.6 goals. There are a number of contentious issues in relation to developing the disciplines on fisheries subsidies.Members are yet to find an agreed solution on balancing disciplines on fisheries subsidies for food security and livelih…

Implications of Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations on Global Sourcing Provision for the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement and the Product Specific Rules of Origin in PACER Plus

In 2018, the members of the World Trade Organization have been intensifying negotiations on fisheries subsidies. There are several proposals under discussions including the consolidated text from 2017.
Impact of WTO Fisheries Subsidies and I-EPA Global Sourcing Provision
The Pacific region in particular countries that are benefiting from the global sourcing provisions of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Pacific will be affected by the fisheries subsidies outcomes. Furthermore, countries that may consider future accession to the Interim Economic Partnership agreement to benefit from the Global Sourcing provisions of the I-EPA in relation to fisheries also has to exercise vigilance too.
The global sourcing provision is simply a rules of origin provision whereby a country could source fish from anywhere, as long as the fish is processed onshore, it is deemed to be originating product of the Pacific country that is exporting it and therefore would be subject …

Fisheries Subsidies Negotiation at the WTO: Recommendations on contentious issues

This summation emanates from the series of previous discussions and papers that had been posted and referenced on this blog over the past few months. The WTO in May, 2018 is convening the negotiating group on Rules in relation to fisheries subsidies negotiations.

This article aims to provide further views on some of the issues under discussions with possible suggestions.

(i) On the issue of operating and capital costs and its relation to fisheries subsidies, in order to determine the types and kinds of costs that relate to operating and capital cost may be difficult. There are several issues behind these.The nature of the firms in developed and developing countries in relation to operating and capital costs. For firms, depending on the size and also the profitability factor, the operating and capital costs adds to the marginal cost of firms. This is similar to addressing negative externalities. This would be easier if members were able to obtain firm level data on the marginal costs …

ICT Development Index and Disciplines on E-Commerce at the WTO

In 2017, at the World Trade Organization, members have had several exchanges on the issue of E-Commerce and disciplines in this regard. In 1998, members had agreed to a Work Programme on E-Commerce that included various areas that could be explored  including interalia having a Development Component as a separate sub-heading. With 4th industrial revolution and the rapid rise of technology it is without doubt that the importance of E-Commerce in the retail sector in relation to trade is significant.

However, in relation to the development on rules on E-Commerce, there needs to be further discussions held in relation to its definition and scope and also whether disciplines on E-Commerce would contribute to global welfare gains or rather impede policy space for development by developing countries. The E-Commerce in relation to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) can to an extent be discussed under mode 1 commitments of countries under cross-border supply. However, for deve…

Food Sovereignty under WTO: Unfulfilled Promise at Buenos Aires

Food Sovereignty under WTO: Unfulfilled Promise at Buenos Aires
Sachin Kumar Sharma (Associate Professor) Abhijit Das (Head and Professor)
Affiliated to Centre for WTO Studies, Delhi ( )

It is well accepted that rules on agriculture under the WTO constrain developing countries from pursuing effective policies for addressing food security needs. This issue was raised forcefully by many developing countries during the Doha Round. An interim solution to the problem was arrived at during the Bali Ministerial Conference held in 2013 and subsequently by the General Council of the WTO in November, 2014. However, the commitment to agree to a permanent solution by the 11th Ministerial conference did not materialised on account of the strong resistance of the US, and the divergence in positions of some member countries on a few issues related to public stockholding. It would be in developing country Members interest to persist in their efforts for a permanent solutio…

EU-Brazil proposal on farm support: Strengthening agricultural reforms or undermining them?

EU-Brazil proposal on farm support: Strengthening agricultural reforms or undermining them? Sachin Kumar Sharma[1] Abhijit Das[2]

Developing countries are demanding substantial reduction in trade distorting domestic support to agriculture sector by developed countries. Huge trade distorting domestic support by developed countries has adverse impact on the income and livelihood of millions of farmers in developing countries. On the other hand, under the existing rules of the Agreement on Agriculture many developing countries are facing lack of policy space to implement measures like price support to increase the income of farmers. There are many proposals on the negotiating table to discipline trade distorting support. Recently, some members of WTO namely Brazil, European Union, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay circulated a proposal (EU-Brazil proposal) on OTDS , which seeks a cap on trade distorting spending. This study critically examines the implications of EU-Brazil proposal regarding OTDS …

Fisheries Subsidies disciplines-Assymetrical Outcomes for Developing Countries

Discussion 3: Fisheries Subsidies disciplines -Implications of WTO Negotiations: Asymmetrical Outcomes for Developing Countries
 The 11th Ministerial Conference was held from the 10-13 December, 2017 in Bueno Aires, Argentina. In relation to fisheries, the WTO members decided to:
1.  “Build on the progress made since the 10th Ministerial Conference as reflected in documents TN/RL/W/274/Rev.2, RD/TN/RL/29/Rev.3, Members agree to continue to engage constructively in the fisheries subsidies negotiations, with a view to adopting, by the Ministerial Conference in 2019, an agreement on comprehensive and effective disciplines that prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminate subsidies that contribute to IUU-fishing recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing country Members and least developed country Members should be an integral part of these negotiations.” And 2. “Members re-com…