Towards the 12th Ministerial (MC12)

The 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO is scheduled to take place November 30 - December 3, 2021 in Geneva. Corporate boosters are advocating for expanding the failed model of the WTO through plurilateral agreements on investment facilitation, domestic regulation of services and digital trade (so-called e-commerce). They are also pursuing an agreement to discipline fisheries subsidies, but without the mandate on development. Instead, negotiators should focus on transforming the existing rules to allow countries to pursue development and shared prosperity, in areas such as agriculture, TRIPS, and the development agenda.

Over 200 organizations from 67 countries say: “Fundamentally transform the WTO: The WTO’s own policies have caused its existential crisis, which the COVID-19 crisis only amplified”: English, Spanish, French. (28 April 2021)

Letter to WTO Director General from members of Our World Is Not for Sale. (26 April 2021)

COVID-19 crisis

Seeking market access behind the veil of combating COVID-19. (Abhijit Das, Murali Kallummal and Sachin Kumar Sharma, Centre for WTO Studies, India, June 2020)

South sets out developmental priorities in face of COVID-19 (3 June 2020)

COVID-19: South opposes attempts to foist trade liberalization measures (20 May 2020)

COVID-19 straw breaks free trade camel's back (20 May 2020)

The insanity of business-as-usual trade negotiations: While most nations are focused on coping with Covid-19 and its aftermath, some rich countries are pushing binding WTO rules. (7 May 2020)

COVID-19 and WTO: Debunking developed countries’ narratives on trade measures. (South Centre, May 2020)

Letter from 400 organizations from more than 150 countries to WTO Members: Stop all trade and investment treaty negotiations during the COVID-19 outbreak and refocus on access to medical supplies and saving lives: English, Spanish, French. (30 April 2020)

COVID-19: CSOs call for fair & equitable benefit sharing of medical products (28 April 2020)

COVID-19: Trade policy choices during and after pandemic (22 April 2020)

Call to Halt Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations in the Middle of the COVID 19 Crisis: English, Spanish, French. Response from WTO DG Azevêdo. (April 2020)

Access to medicines, TRIPS waiver

See here.

WTO reform

Over 200 organizations from 67 countries say: “Fundamentally transform the WTO: The WTO’s own policies have caused its existential crisis, which the COVID-19 crisis only amplified”: English, Spanish, French. (CSO letter, 28 April 2021)

Letter to WTO Director General from members of Our World Is Not for Sale. (26 April 2021)

As WTO dispute settlement system collapses, civil society calls attention to need for fundamental change in global trade. (9 December 2019)

more on WTO process issues …

Fisheries

Protecting the Problem – Fisheries subsidies negotiations and the WTO (17 March 2021)

Analysis of the Overcapacity and Overfishing Pillar of the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations (South Centre Research Paper, November 2020)

Call to Halt Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations in the Middle of the COVID 19 Crisis: English, Spanish, French. Response from WTO DG Azevêdo. (April 2020)

Fisheries subsidies negotiations and development in the World Trade Organization. (October 2019)

Market access the true aim of WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations: English, Spanish. (April 2018)

more on fisheries …

Investment facilitation

Some WTO Members are negotiating rules on facilitating investment: WTO plurilateral investment facilitation draft consolidated text (as of 4 February 2021)

Scope of an investment facilitation framework: Implications for its developmental claim (by Kinda Mohamadieh, July 2020)

Plurilateral initiatives and their interaction with WTO rules (TWN Policy Brief, 2020)

Investment facilitation – Another plurilateral initiative at the WTO and its potential implications (TWN, October 2019)

Rebuttal to “The WTO Investment Facilitation Initiative: Why It Matters” – background note: Investment Facilitation for Development: Opening the doors of the WTO for hard rules on investment (December 2017)

more on investment …

Services

Briefing paper: Disciplining non-discriminatory domestic regulations in the services sectors – Another plurilateral track at the WTO. (Kinda Mohamadieh, TWN, October 2019)

Session at the 2019 WTO Public Forum: #111. What would services as the next trade frontier look like? (11 October 2019)

Session at the 2019 WTO Public Forum: #119. Why are computer and related services important? (11 October 2019)

Two-page summary: “Domestic regulation” rules in the WTO: English: pdf, docx. Spanish: pdf, doc. (November 2017)

more on services…

Development agenda

Reforming the international trading system for recovery, resilience and inclusive development. (UNCTAD Research Paper No. 65, April 2021)

Updated TWN Briefing paper on International negotiations by virtual means in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. (24 March 2021)

New WTO DG delivers "divisive" trade agenda at GC meeting. (2 March 2021)

Recovering better from COVID-19 will need a rethink of multilateralism. (10 November 2020)

South sets out developmental priorities in face of COVID-19 (4 June 2020)

more on the development agenda …

Agriculture

Inequitable WTO rules in agriculture continue to impact farmers in the developing world: English, Spanish. (Ranja Sengupta, ALAI, April 2018)

Agriculture remains key. (Ranja Sengupta, 22 November 2017)

WTO summit to ignore price crisis, agricultural dumping. (Timothy Wise, 10 December 2017)

WTO and Food Security: Biting the hand that feeds the poor. (Timothy Wise, December 2017)

For India, the fight at WTO will be about food security. (Sachin Kumar Jain, 9 December 2017)

Digital trade

Digital Trade Rules: A disastrous new constitution for the global economy written by and for Big Tech

E-commerce proposals at the WTO: a recipe for corporate greed

Digital trade rules and Big Tech: Surrendering public good to private power

US to target countries that impose digital services taxes

Updated Twelve Reasons: English: pdf, docx. Spanish: pdf, doc. French: pdf, docx.

more on the digital economy …

L'économie numérique

L’Afrique francophone face au e-commerce à l’OMC

Les impacts « anti-développement » des dispositions fiscales prévues dans les règles proposées sur le commerce numérique à l’OMC

Lettre de la société civile contre les règles sur le commerce électronique à l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC)

Douze raisons de s’opposer aux règles sur le commerce électronique à l’OMC

plus d'informations sur l'économie numérique …

La economia digital

‘Big tech’ en la OMC

Los países del Sur adoptan una postura firme sobre la geoeconomía de los datos

Las asociaciones de PYMES rechazan el programa de trabajo de PYMES y las Reglas de comercio electronico de la OMC Doce razones por las cuales debemos oponernos a las normas relativas al comercio digital en el marco de la OMC

El comercio electrónico y la OMC

Tecnología, comercio electrónico y empleo

Comercio electrónico, futuro del trabajo y su impacto en las mujeres

más sobre la economia digital …