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helvdoha.jpg (10488 bytes) IPC and the Doha Development Round

The IPC's work in trade negotiations is currently focused on the Doha Round of WTO agricultural negotiations.  The IPC influences the debate and informs interested parties on the progress of the negotiations both in Geneva and national capitals through publications, seminars, and editorial pieces. 


Recommendations for the Agriculture Negotiations

In May 2002 a task force of IPC members was established to draft papers on recommendations for modalities for each of the three pillars of agriculture in the WTO and for non-trade concerns. In November 2002, IPC members debated and approved the modalities recommendations.The resulting document Recommendations for the Doha Round of Agricultural Negotiations was released in January 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland.

In June 2003, IPC members issued a statement for Cancun Ministerial Meeting urging political leaders to use the necessary political capital to push for a successful meeting.   Despite the outcome of that meeting, it appeared that the text issued there by Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez will be the basis for further negotiations. In February 2004, the IPC released an assessment of Derbez’s draft text against the dual goals of furthering agricultural trade reform and achieving the development objectives of the Doha Round entitled Twenty-Five Ways to Improve the Derbez Draft on Agriculture.

On June 14th, while negotiators were in the process of negotiating a framework for further agricultural negotiations in the Doha Round, IPC Chairman, Robert L. Thompson and Vice Chairman, Piet Bukman issued a joint-statement urging, WTO negotiators must create a solid and specific agricultural framework that builds on the valuable commitments made by key countries.   Thompson and Bukman emphasized that the WTO agricultural negotiations framework, expected by the end of July 2004, must go further than a simple restatement of the Doha Mandate, agreed to at the launch of the Doha Round of WTO negotiations nearly four years ago.   They agree that recent offers from key countries have cleared the way for negotiators to create a framework that goes significantly beyond where things now stand. 

January 21, 2003        IPC Recommendations for the Doha Agricultural Negotiations

June 20, 2003            IPC Statement on Recommendations for the Cancun Ministerial Meeting

February 10, 2004    Twenty Five Ways to Improve the Derbez Draft on Agriculture

June 14, 2004         WTO negotiators must create a solid and specific agricultural framework

Other Doha Round Publications

The IPC regularly publishes Issue Briefs covering topics relevant to its work in trade negotiations, as well as its international development, technology and sustainability.  Issue Briefs are are concise, practical publications - six to ten pages each - that address specific problems and issues prompted by seminar discussions.  Issue Briefs clarify the topic addressed and, where relevant, provide specific recommendations rather than describe an ideal situation or teach economic theory. For more IPC Issue Briefs click here.

IPC Position Papers represent the official opinions of the IPC.  They are developed by discussion among Council Members and represent a consensus opinion.  As with any consensus document, however, not all members of the IPC agree with every individual recommendation.  Accordingly, specific statements in the text should not be attributed to any single IPC Member.  For more Position Papers, click here.

May 1, 2003                 IPC Issue Brief Number One: Revisiting Special Preferences for Developing Countries
The issue of special preferences is one of the most challenging and controversial political issues confronting trade negotiators n the Doha Development Round.  Developing countries that produce commodities benefiting from preferences, and developed country farmers who are also protected by preferences are deeply worried about the potential loss of preferential arrangements.  Yet, even developing countries that receive special preferences understand that the time is coming to being to dismantle them.  The economic arguments, coupled with trends in agricultural policy in the United States and Europe are building a strong case for finding alternatives to special preferences.  The IPC's first Issue Brief examines four types of preferences, assesses their economic costs and benefits, and the consequences for the international trade system.  The Issue Brief also places preferences into the larger context of economic development.  The paper concludes by recommending that special preferences evolve over time into a general system of preferences.

August 15, 2003           IPC Issue Brief Number Two: Beyond Special and Differential Treatment
The goal of the Doha Development Round is to bring the benefits of more open markets to developing countries.   Yet much of the discussion about the interests of developing countries has been subsumed under the subject of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) - a structure that was created in the 1960s when the needs and interests of the developing countries were quite different than they are today.  Today, the interest of developing countries are in well-functioning global food markets, with a minimum of distortions.   If developing countries put their negotiating capital into an ambitious outcome that substantially reduces the distortions in agricultural trade through real increases in market access and substantial reductions in trade distorting subsidies they will derive far greater benefits than seeking exemptions and exceptions from the WTO rules.

September 15, 2004    IPC Position Paper Number 13: A New Approach to Special and Differential Treatment
The original purpose of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) was to level the playing field and give developing countries more time to adapt to international competition.  Currently, S&D provides few benefits to developing countries, and serves as a rationale for limited concessions on the part of developed countries.  The IPC believes that there are positive measures that can make S&D more precise, effective and operational as called for in the Doha Declaration. A New Approach to Special and Differential Treatment advocates differentiating developing countries into three categories: Least Developed, Lower Middle Income Developing and Upper Middle Income Developing Countries for international trade.  Each group of countries should undertake commitments in market access, domestic support and export competition according to their capability.



Agricultural Trade Negotiations: Politics and Prospects
The political environment in national capitals plays an important role in determining the shape of negotiating frameworks and in giving negotiators a mandate for further reform.  At the same time, the outcome of recent disputes resolution panels at the WTO on sugar, cotton and state-trading could have an important effect on the political environment, the policy environment and the negotiating objectives of the instigating and target countries.   The IPC's seminar, Agricultural Trade Negotiations: Politics and Prospects, addressed the political realities of domestic politics in the United States, the European Union, the Cairns Group countries, and the African countries, among others; and analyzed the potential implications of the outcomes of the Cotton, Canadian Wheat Board and Sugar Panels. 

May 17, 2004                    Seminar Agenda
                                       Seminar Report, "Agricultural Trade Negotiations: Politics and Prospects"


Post-Cancun Briefing
A briefing for members of the press and other interested parties given by Washington DC-based IPC Members.

September 2, 2003         Proceedings


Achieving the Doha Development Agenda
A three-part seminar series held in Geneva, Switzerland in summer and fall 2002 covering the three pillars of agriculture negotiations in the WTO - Export Competition, Market Access and Domestic Support - and on Non-Trade Concerns and Special and Differential Treatment. A summary of the proceedings of all three seminars was published in January 2003.

June 13, 2002                 Export Competition and Market Access  - Agenda

September 10, 2002      Domestic Subsidies  - Agenda 

October 31, 2002           Non-Trade Concerns and Special and Differential Treatment - Agenda     

December 21, 2002        Seminar Proceedings Summary: Achieving the Doha Development Agenda


Challenges Facing the Doha Round
A seminar held in conjunction with the 29th IPC Plenary Meeting in Ottawa, Canada.

May 2-3, 2002                     Seminar Agenda and Proceedings



Editorials and News Releases

September 27, 2004 One-Size-Fits-All Rules for Developing Countries Must be Altered, Say World Trade Leaders

One-Size-Fits-All Rules for Developing Countries Must be Altered, Say World Trade Leaders
IPC Press Release

August 1, 2004 Agricultural Trade Council Praises Doha agricultural framework as sound basis for moving forward
IPC Press Release
January 13, 2004 Improvements Needed in Derbez Agricultural Draft, Say International Agricultural Leaders
IPC Press Release
January 13, 2004 Moves to Energize Trade Talks are Welcome
OpEd by IPC Chief Executive, M. Ann Tutwiler
December 12, 2003 No Deal is a Bad Deal for Agriculture News Release from IPC Secretariat
September 16, 2003 Cancun: Crisis as Catalyst News Release from IPC Secretariat
September 4, 2003 Cancun Must Facilitate Substantial Reforms in All Commodity Sectors Editorial by IPC Chairman, Robert L. Thompson and Vice Chairman, Piet Bukman
September 4, 2003 Highlights of the IPC's Position on the Doha Round Agricultural Negotiations News Release from the IPC Secretariat
September 4, 2003 The Draft Cancun Ministerial Text and the IPC's Recommendations: A Comparison of Differences and Similarities
August 26, 2003 Ag Text Improves Outlook For Cancun News Release from the IPC Secretariat

June 1, 2003

For Cancun to Succeed, Political Leaders Must Invest Political Capital Now French
March 31, 2003 Missed Agricultural Negotiating Deadline Unfortunate, but Not Fatal Editorial By IPC Chief Executive, M. Ann Tutwiler,
March 9, 2003 Reaping a bitter harvest Editorial by M. Ann Tutwiler, IPC Chief Executive in the Washington Times
February 28, 2003 To Benefit Developing Countries, The Doha Round Agriculture Agreement Must be Ambitious.  Editorial by IPC Member, Per Pinstrup-Andersen, 2001 World Food Prize Laureate; H.E. Babcock Professor, Cornell University.
February 4, 2003 ¿Qué más? Article by IPC Member Luis de la Calle,in El Universal, Mexico City, Mexico. (Spanish)