WTO ag talks moving forward, chair reports

July 2, 2004, as reported by just-food.com: The World Trade Organization (WTO) is making steady progress towards its goals of ending food export subsidies and a compromise on the extent of future non-emergency food aid, reported Tim Groser, chair of the WTO Agriculture Negotiating Group, to the WTO trade negotiations committee.

The talks which began at the 2001 Doha ministerial in Qatar have been notorious for the contention they have caused between developed and developing nations. Up to now most negotiation sessions have ended in either deadlock or with little real progress made.

Steady progress is being made at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Doha Development Round talks on agriculture liberalization, their chairman Tim Groser has told the WTO trade negotiations committee.

Participating Geneva diplomats have told just-food.com that all parties are moving towards a deal on a deadline for ending food export subsidies and a compromise on the extent of future non-emergency food aid.

Groser also identified movement towards common views on cuts to trade disrupting production subsidies, (in the WTO’s so-called amber and blue boxes), as well as tighter definitions of ‘green box’ subsidies, allowed because they supposedly do not encourage production. His report followed three days of consultations in Geneva.