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WTO members urged to find solutions in farm trade talks

Date 25/04/2015 - 12:17:00 | 149 views
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WTO members Friday were urged to step up efforts in resolving their differences on key issues blocking progress in the Doha Round farm trade talks.

John Adank, the New Zealand ambassador chairing the negotiations, said there was an "urgent need to move from repeating positions to working for solutions."

Ambassador Adank warned that members were "a long way" from achieving an agreement by July on the agriculture chapter of a work program for concluding the Doha Round talks.

"This in turn inhibits progress on other issues," he continued. "The intensive process in which we have been engaged has still not seen delegations move from entrenched positions or find acceptable ways around them. Doing so is the urgent challenge that is still ahead of us."

The threshold issues cited by the chairperson include possible spending caps on overall trade-distorting support (OTDS), the coverage and extent of any reductions in existing limits on de minimis support and the overall approach to be taken on tariff reductions. The question of special safeguards also remains a difficult issue to resolve, the chairperson added.

WTO members have set July 2015 as the target for agreeing on a work program for concluding the Doha Round talks. Separately, members have agreed to try and seek a permanent solution on the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes by the end of December 2015./.

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