Report from Meeting on 5th December
Report from Meeting on 5th December on Doha
Report from Meeting on 5th December on EPAs

Report from Meeting on 5th December on Doha

Thomas Ruddy asked Deputy DG for Trade Peter Balas about the status of the negotiations on Environmental Goods and Services (EGS). In that context US Trade Rep. Susan Schwab had been cited by Reuters  as calling EGS do-able as a separate agreement outside the traditional WTO "Single Undertaking". Balas refused to engage in "speculation", but mentioned that even after the Uruguay Round such separate agreements had been signed as an EGS agreement or an "Agreement on the Environment" would be.

Later Reuters reported that the side-event staged by EU and US trade ministers in Bali with developing countries had given a final news conference which "descended into farce as Brazil and the United States swapped recriminations", and IPS was dismissive too. The most complete documentation of the event was provided by Euractiv. ICTSD hailed the event as "the first-ever meeting at that level to discuss links between the international trade and climate policy regimes".

WTO Secretary-General Pascal Lamy had also given a speech in Bali entitled "Doha could deliver double-win for environment and trade" which is documented on the WTO Website.

In January 2008 the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos will provide another informal opportunity for negotiators.

Report from Meeting on 5th December on EPAs

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are urgent under a WTO ruling to liberalize the relationship between the EU and countries that were once colonies of EU Member States France and England. However EPAs are still controversial in their terms, especially those which deal with services and investment conditions.

Karl Falkenberg, Deputy DG for Trade, described the ongoing negotiations with an ever-expanding list of countries requiring individual treatment as opposed to region-building. Sheila Page, formerly of theOverseas Development Institute (ODI), London, shared the view later expressed by  "The Economist" magazine: "The Europeans argue that the deals are designed to encourage regional integration in Africa. The Africans retort that by making separate deals with different countries they are doing exactly the opposite."

Updated: 27th Dec. 2007

Surf back up to SERI member page Thomas Ruddy

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