May 18, 2008

Attempts To Unpick WTO Fish Subsidies Deal

Post # 1,500!!

One of the real positives that could have emerged even from the slimmed down WTO outcome that people are attempting to stitch together over the weekend in Geneva was one on new disciplines on subsidisation of the world's fishing industry. There is no doubt that overfishing and subsidy practices are linked. New rules could have reduced the problem and achieved a great outcome - good for fish stocks and good for world trade in fish products.

It was therefore with sadness that we read this last ditch attempt by China, India and Indonesia to seek exemption for the rules for developing countries.

This outcome on fisheries was going to be the major environmental deliverable from the round, one which was meant to help secure passage through the US ratification process. Now, even it, looks as though it will not happen.

Lets stop the acting. Put the round on ice until President McCain is in office. Then he can get the deal done. We need strong political leadership. All we see now is cowardice and caving in to vested interests. Look at the US Farm Bill as another example.