Aug 14, 2008

WTO: Possible Mini-ministerial

There is still some positive talk around the possibility of a new attempt at reaching agreement on agriculture and NAMA modalities in late September. We hear that the Brazilians may be offering to host, but there are strong arguments for Geneva again being the location if there are still lots of technical issues outstanding (Geneva is where the experts are).

Meanwhile Trans Tasman this week is suggesting that if there is a Ministerial in September, Phil Goff is considering inviting Tim Groser along. We would support this further evidence of Goff's statemanship. It is essential that the potential Trade Minister after the election is fully up to speed with where this negotiation is sitting. This is not an issue for petty party politics. Groser's expertise would also be useful at the Ministerial. National, of course, may be wanting Groser out there on the campaign trail.

But all is not positive. It seems as though the US is mighty pissed off with aspects of the latest NAMA text that has been circulated.