Agriculture: Small steps forward on farm trade?

Despite lack of agreement among negotiators on the “small package” of measures for the WTO’s Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, draft texts on farm trade are being sent on to ministers. Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, however, has clarified that these measures would not be presented as “agreed.” The current package had been put forward as a down-payment on a bigger set of issues under negotiation as part of the Doha Round of trade talks, which were declared at an impasse in 2011. Prospects of a deal on trade facilitation reinvigorated talks on agriculture this year, which developing countries in particular have argued must be part of any Doha “early harvest.”

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