Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Agriculture Special Safeguards in the context of EPAs

"WTO provisions do not prevent the ACP countries and the EU from including adequate agriculture safeguards in the EPAs" says Luisa Bernal, Head of Trade for Development Programme (TDP), South Centre in her paper on Agriculture Special Safeguards in the context of EPAs. She adds that given the experience of the ACP countries, particularly the African countries with import surges, it will be important that adequate instruments are provided to them to address this phenomenon in the context of the EPA agreements.

Ms Bernal presented this paper in the session on "Market access and Development challenges in EPAs/WTO Doha Negotiations" at the International Conference on “Commodities, Rules of Origin, Development and Legal Dimensions of the European Union-Africa Economic Partnership Debates: The Nexus between African Issues of Concern in EPAs and the WTO Doha Development Agenda” in Upssala, Sweden on 7-8 September 2007.

The paper reviews the legal aspects related to the WTO compatibility of agriculture safeguards provisions applied between parties to a regional trade agreements, such as the proposed EPAs. It also reviews the policy debates in relation to the incidence of import surges in developing countries which has taken place in the WTO in the context of the Doha round.

The Conference was organized by The Nordic Africa Institute and focused on policy issues related to the negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements currently under negotiations between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union. Academics and development practitioners participated in the conference.