WTO: reporting on informal negotiating meeting on fisheries subsidies (7)

A few days ago I wrote a post about a REUTERS « alert » quoting the Chair of the negotiating group as he spoke over the “new tone in the talks”.

The ICTSD has published in its website an article on the negotiating meeting which, according to the ICTSD, took place in the week of 4 October 2010.

An interesting feature of the meeting is that, always according to ICTSD, there was a plenary session (on 4 and 5 October) followed by discussions in smaller groups of delegates.

The article mentions that the latest submissions by the BRICs (Brazil, China, India) and Mexico (doc. TN/RL/GEN/163) and by the US (TN/RL/GEN/165) were discussed.

I discussed the BRICs + Mexico’s submission in my post of 13 February 2010. This submission included a proposal to prohibit to developed countries those « subsidies arising from the further transfer, by a payer Member government, of access rights that it has acquired from another Member government to fisheries within the jurisdiction of such other Member.». I wonder how those WTO Members that are very dependent on access fees paid by developed countries did react to this proposal.

I also discussed the US paper in my post of 24 April 2010. I also wonder whether there was some discussion about the suppression by the US of the exceptions for subsidies for retraining for activities other than fishing, re-education and early retirement.

It would also be interesting to know whether the US had, in relation to exceptions for disaster relief , “further thoughts as to its scope and placement as technical discussions of the text continue.” (see paragraph 8 in page 2 of the US submission). 

I imagine that the oil spill (a man-made disaster) in the Gulf of Mexico is providing enough food for thought to US negotiators on the scope and placement of exceptions for “disaster relief”. One suggestion could be to allow for “privately funded subsidies” (such as those requested by the State of Louisiana) to the fisheries sector.

Here is the link to the article by ICTSD:


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