Issue No. 651/652, 16 October – 15 November 2017
Uncertainty, controversy surround lead-up to MC11

*Click on cover to download (PDF)

No convergence on MC11 issues or outcome
The final meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) before the WTO’s eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) in December brought into stark relief the lack of agreed outcomes for MC11 with just over 10 days to go. The following two articles report on WTO member states’ views and assessments of the state of play delivered at the TNC meet.
by D. Ravi Kanth

DG proposes “minister facilitators”, chairs report on state of play
by Kanaga Raja

DG queers pitch on partial outcome on subsidized IUU vessels
The WTO Director-General stepped into the fray in a bid to nudge member states towards a partial outcome at MC11 on addressing subsidies contributing to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
by D. Ravi Kanth

G90 setback as North nations refuse any outcome on S&DT
The outlook for a Buenos Aires agreement to provide greater flexibility for developing countries in implementing certain WTO rules dimmed due to persistent opposition from the developed countries.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Isolated US tries to block MC11 ministerial declaration
The Buenos Aires Ministerial Conference faces the prospect of not adopting a ministerial declaration at its conclusion as the US sought to thwart an outcome document that would refer to the development dimension of the WTO.
by D. Ravi Kanth

South nations throw down gauntlet on e-commerce at MC11
The WTO membership remained divided over how to approach the contentious issue of e-commerce at MC11, split between those which wanted to continue with the existing WTO work programme of discussions and others which called for upgraded negotiations.
by D. Ravi Kanth

MC11 e-commerce battle lines drawn across three camps
Stepping up negotiations on e-commerce at the WTO would only jeopardize whatever progress developing countries have made in digital industrialization, cautions Parminder Jeet Singh.

E-commerce and the WTO
The corporate technology giants are seeking to rewrite the rules of the digital economy through WTO disciplines on e-commerce. Deborah James explains why the Big Tech agenda must be resisted.

E-commerce at MC11 is effort to hijack basic Internet governance issues
The push for e-commerce negotiations in the WTO should be viewed in the light of a global digital order which has enabled growing corporate concentration and eroded democracy.
by Chakravarthi Raghavan

PR disaster for MC11 as host denies accreditation to many NGOs
The Argentine host government dropped a bombshell in the final stretch of the run-up to MC11 by barring some 60 representatives of local and international non-governmental organizations from participating in the conference. We publish below three contemporaneous reports, run in chronological order, documenting the developments as they unfolded, from the seemingly shifting official narrative surrounding the ban to the reactions to what has been seen as “an outrageous and worrying precedent”.
by Chakravarthi Raghavan

Don’t hold MC11 in Argentina unless NGO ban is rescinded, WTO urged
by Kanaga Raja

Ever-changing narrative on Argentine NGO ban for MC11
by Chakravarthi Raghavan

Opinion: Beware public-private partnerships
Public-private partnerships are often expensive, risky and unfavourable to the public interest.
by Jomo Kwame Sundaram