LONDON - June 22 - New proposals on global trade rules on agriculture and industrial goods (Non Agricultural Market Access or NAMA) released today show a deadlock in negotiations that could spell failure for the Doha round of trade talks.
New draft ‘modalities’ papers – the outlines of a possible agreement – show an impasse in negotiations, with the US and EU refusing to back down from their ambitious market access demands.
The closing deadline for Doha Round of trade talks is fast approaching. Yet rich nations have reneged on the ‘Doha Mandate’ - to put poor people in developing countries at the heart of the talks. Campaigners accuse the EU and US of strong arm tactics, in an attempt to force open industrial markets in developing countries.
Aftab Alam Khan, head of ActionAid International’s trade justice campaign, said: “These papers show a near fatal deadlock in these WTO talks. If ministers meet next week with these proposals, it will mean a disaster for development. The EU and US have made these talks a sham – and developing countries would be wise to reject this deal as another attempt to cheat poor countries.”
The key parts of today’s proposals are:
- The EU and US have failed to agree a cut in the subsidies paid to their own producers which lead to the dumping of produce on developing countries – undermining local production and threatening livelihoods.
- The US is not bound to cut substantial amounts of cotton subsidies which threatens the jobs of millions in West Africa.
- The proposal fails to confirm sufficient protection of products produced by small-scale agriculture producers. Small-scale agricultural producers in developing countries will be denied the right to protect key products and vulnerable sectors.
On Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA):
- Poor countries would be forced to cut their import tariffs at a much higher rate than rich countries, threatening the existence of infant industries in developing countries.
- Developing countries would be unable to protect their manufacturing sectors, which are essential to long term sustainable development.
Tim Rice, trade policy an analyst at ActionAid UK, said: “The level of stubbornness and brinkmanship displayed by rich countries throughout these negotiations has been shocking. Peter Mandelson has talked development, while pushing an aggressive, corporate - led trade assault behind closed doors. If the talks fail, the blame will lie squarely at the door of the EU and US.”