Select Committee on European Union Seventeenth Report


The current status of the Doha Development Agenda, and the forthcoming Hong Kong Ministerial

33.  We urge WTO members to work for the completion of the Doha Round by the end of 2006. (paragraph 9)

The changed landscape of negotiations

34.  As we noted in our earlier report, it remains important that the developing countries recognise that they have a responsibility to work for the successful completion of the Doha Round, as well as power to influence the outcome. (paragraph 11)

Agricultural market access

35.  We support the Commission's offer to reduce agricultural tariffs by an average of 38.9%, and consider that the developing countries should now respond constructively. (paragraph 20)

36.  We consider that it is important to ensure that LDC and ACP countries do not suffer disproportionately as a result of the erosion of their preferential access to the EU's agricultural markets. We accordingly urge WTO members to agree appropriate temporary transition measures to compensate these countries. These measures should be designed to distort trade as little as possible. (paragraph 21)

Agricultural export subsidies

37.  We support the Government's decision to push for the removal of all agricultural export subsidies as well as the EU's May 2004 offer to eliminate these subsidies if all other WTO members agree to follow suit. We urge WTO members to agree to do so by 2010. (paragraph 22)

Non-agricultural Market Access

38.  We firmly believe that it is now time for developing countries such as Brazil to respond before Hong Kong to agricultural offers from the likes of the EU with serious proposals of their own in access to non-agricultural markets. (paragraph 27)

Trade in services

39.  We urge countries to secure a commitment at Hong Kong to a date by which revised best and final offers on trade in services will be tabled. (paragraph 30)

Commitment to Doha: Multilateral versus bilateral and plurilateral agreements

40.  We believe that governments should strongly pursue multilateral arrangements. Were the Doha Round to break down, this would bring serious pressure to bear on governments to pursue bilateral and regional agreements as a way forward. It would be a paradox if a breakdown of the Doha Round were to lead to bilateral agreements between the major trading blocks from which the developing countries would be excluded to their detriment. We therefore urge all WTO members to work for a successful outcome to the Hong Kong Ministerial as a very high priority. (paragraph 32)

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