WTO Doha Round Bulletin, June 2010

Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

June 2010

This bulletin, summarising key WTO Doha Round-related activities, is issued by the Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Key issues

Overview

In June, APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade and G20 Leaders all confirmed their support for reaching a balanced and ambitious conclusion to the WTO Doha Round as soon as possible. APEC Ministers meeting in Sapporo, Japan on 5-6 June agreed to support the process in each negotiating group in Geneva. They also agreed to renew the empowerment of Representatives in Geneva and Senior Officials to move the Doha work forward by holding active negotiations in all appropriate fora and configurations, with trade ministers' engagement as necessary. Ministers committed to horizontal discussions to seek the path toward the end game. Ministers agreed that a "final package will command consensus only if it delivers meaningful new trade opportunities in all areas as well as substantial reductions in trade distortions" (See 2010 APEC MRT Standalone Statement on Doha). Detailed technical work by senior officials is continuing in Geneva across all sectors of the negotiations.

The next important opportunity to continue building political momentum for concluding the Round will be the G20 Summit being hosted by Korea in Seoul in November. G20 Leaders meeting in Toronto on 26-27 June directed representatives, using all negotiating avenues, to pursue the objective of concluding the Round, and report on progress at the Seoul meeting, where Leaders will discuss the status of the negotiations and the way forward (see G20 Toronto Summit Declaration).

On 28 June 2010 The Hon Stephen Smith became Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Smith will continue Australia's strong support both for the WTO and for the Doha Round. The Hon Simon Crean is now Australian Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion.

Agriculture

Technical work continued in June for meetings called by WTO Agriculture Chair, David Walker, in the week of 5 July. Discussions are expected to focus on progressing technical work on data and templates supporting a clear process for engaging on outstanding modalities issues. Respectively, Australia and Canada have prepared presentations on export competition and domestic support to contribute to discussions.

In addition, a final meeting on the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM), prior to the northern summer, has been scheduled as exporters focus efforts towards designing a mechanism that responds to legitimate concerns of importers without impeding demand-induced trade. A formal SSM exporter paper, drafted by Australia and Canada, is now an official document for consideration by the members.

NAMA

Members continued their work on non-tariff measures (NTMs) following the meetings held in May, focussing attention on seeking breakthroughs on the major issues of contention. Proposals under consideration offer the prospect of creating a more streamlined method of dealing with disputes and creating a more transparent approach to applying international standards in trade in sectors including chemicals, electronics and electrical goods and autos. A further series of meetings will be held during July.

Services

The Australian delegation made the most of opportunities during the recent services negotiations from 28 June to 2 July in Geneva to advance discussions on new approaches to the services market access negotiations. We advanced our sectoral interests by chairing meetings on legal and accounting services, domestic regulation disciplines, as well as the Committee on Trade in Financial Services.

We made strong interventions in support of the WTO Secretariat's efforts in updating sectoral reports last prepared in the late 1990s. The reports on accounting, legal, maritime and logistics services were all of particular interest to Australia as they coincide with our broader interests in the market access negotiations. The reports focus on developments internationally in international trade in these services and represent a useful tool for trade negotiators and trade policy officials.

Intellectual property

No new developments.

Rules

No new developments.

WTO meetings in Geneva

WTO programme of meetings for 2010 (PDF)

Contact us

Trade Policy Section, Office of Trade Negotiations
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, BARTON ACT 0221

Fax: (02) 6261 1858 or email trade.consult@dfat.gov.au

or for more information visit our website or the WTO website.

Previous WTO Doha Round Bulletins