ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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WTO and Food Security

At the forthcoming World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Argentina, the global community must address real subsidies in agriculture rather than a theoretical construct on the measure of support that also includes impacts of subsidies in rich countries and the tariffs that are duly allowed.

WIPO Patent Agenda

The new WIPO Patent Agenda threatens to erode much of the flexibility available under TRIPS for the design and implementation of a patent regime at the national level. Although its ostensible purpose is to streamline procedures and reduce costs, the ultimate aim of the proponents of this harmonisation process, such as the US, is to be able to grant a global patent, which would render national patent offices superfluous. However, despite the experience of the TRIPS negotiations, most developing countries do not seem to realise the importance of the new WIPO initiative and the need to participate actively in agenda formulation.

WTO and Trade Facilitation

Developing countries' opposition to an agreement on trade facilitation is based primarily on their inability to shoulder more obligations and the strong likelihood of the WTO getting overburdened. This essay argues that there are other possible implications and that the case for further trade facilitation in developing countries is not well established, given the remarkable differences in their levels of development. The Cancun Ministerial is expected to witness a heated debate, if not a deadlock, on these issues.
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