south-north development monitor - SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4364
Monday, 1 February 1999


Trade: WTO mired in the banana quicksand (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Trade: Farmers in Panama want tariff shield (IPS, Panama)

Brazil: Dollars become scarcer (IPS, Rio de Janeiro)

Environment: NGOs step up efforts over bio-safety protocol (IPS, Kuala Lumpur)

Environment: Y2K Bug, a potential eco-hazard (IPS, Washington)

Mexico: Capital city sinking and nearing collapse (IPS, Mexico City)

Excerpts from selected articles:

Trade: WTO mired in the banana quicksand

Geneva, 29 Jan (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- Save for its co-complainants on the banana dispute, and the Philippines, the United States received no support, but strong criticism, Thursday at the WTO over the move for imposing trade sanctions for $500 million against the EC, on the basis of the unilateral US determination of the EC's non-compliance with the WTO ruling.

After another day of waiting around for the convening of the DSB, and an evening of protracted and, according to trade diplomats, sometimes confusing discussion, on the substance as well as applicable rules and procedures, the DSB was "suspended" till Friday morning. As other WTO bodies, the DSB does not meet in public, and partisans on both sides put a "spin" for the media on what went on inside.

The scheduled morning meeting though was again put off till the afternoon, as the WTO held informal consultations with key ambassadors to find a formula. But several at the meeting reportedly said they wanted to see on paper any "compromise" solution, to enable them to decide on it, rather than its being conveyed orally at the meeting..........


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