WTO: Director General Pascal Lamy on Fisheries Subsidies

In a recent speech titled "The stabilizing influence of a rules-based trading system" given by Pascal Lamy at Stanford University on 27 October 2008 he said :

[...] We all agree that rules written nearly 15 years ago do not fit the world of today. Rules which permit rich countries to pour billions of dollars into agriculture programmes which impoverish developing country farmers are seen by many as inequitable. Many find it unjust to have a WTO tariff system where tariffs in rich countries are three or four times higher on exports from the poorest countries than they are on products from other rich countries. Rules on the movement of goods through customs, which date back to a time before bar coding and laptops, seem antiquated. Failing to help Africa reform customs policies which require 40 documents and 30 days to clear shipments is difficult to explain. But failing to address fisheries subsidies, which contribute to serious depletion of fish stocks, seems downright irresponsible [emphasis added]. [...]

Because of the current architecture of the WTO DDA negotiations, fisheries subsidies need to be addressed concurrently with other "Rules" issues, namely: General Subsidy disciplines and Anti-dumping. It is the latter issue that has proven to be elusive in terms of reaching consensus on changes to existing anti-dumping rules and "zeroing" is not strange to this situation. So, i was not surprised that Mr Lamy did not mention the word "anti-dumping" in its speech directed at a U.S. audience.

The full text of the speech can be found at the WTO's website here:

No comments: