WTO: reporting on informal negotiating meeting on fisheries subsidies (5)

Trawling is a typical way of catching fish. It is also something you can do, with modern technology, to catch news on items that are of interest for individuals. And the interesting thing about trawling for news is that your “gear” can be very selective, taking very little “by-catch”.

Lastly I have been trawling for reports on informal meetings of the WTO negotiating group dealing with fisheries subsidies. The result was rather disappointing: only “by-catch”.

Apparently the above mentioned negotiating group, also called the “Rules” group, met at the beginning of March 2010. According to the “Business Standard”, an Indian newspaper, the group discussed the (thorny) issue of the “zeroing” methodology (used by the US) in anti-dumping.

As it is the case with other negotiating subjects groups of countries are formed to push (or counter) standpoints and proposals. In this case, i.e. negotiations on WTO rules on antidumping, a coalition has been formed that calling itself the “Friends of Anti-dumping” (or FANs). The members of the FANs are: Japan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Israel, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Taipei, Thailand and Turkey.

These countries are seeking to tighten the rules of anti-dumping by, among other things, prohibiting the use of zeroing.

It is interesting to see how alliances can differ depending on the issue. In the anti-dumping negotiations one finds countries that are siding “against” the US (e.g. Chile, Thailand, Mexico, Colombia and Norway) while in they are supporting the US positions in the fisheries subsidies negotiations, especially in calling a broad ban on most subsidies to fisheries. 

I will close this post by referring to another article, this time from the “Third World Network”, in which it is mentioned that he “Rules” group also met during the first week of February 2010, though no word about fisheries subsidies’ negotiations.

Here are the links to the above mentioned articles:

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