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Revisiting WTO Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations

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DOI: 10.4236/blr.2015.61002    4,057 Downloads   4,613 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

Fisheries subsidies negotiation was added to the negotiation agenda of the DDA largely by the concern for the depletion of fishery stocks. Some members, in particular, the Friends of Fish group countries, claimed that over-fishing and overcapacity caused by various fisheries subsidies program have resulted in the depletion of fishery stocks. Therefore, they argued that new disciplines should be introduced to address the situation. In 2007, after more than five years of negotiations, the chairman of the Rules Negotiations Group circulated a consolidated text. However, the negotiations have hardly made progress since then. This paper examines whether the Rule Negotiating Group chair’s text is legally and practically appropriate to serve as a basis for the fisheries subsidies negotiations. In order to address the question, this paper presents the brief history of fisheries subsidies negotiations at the WTO. Then, it analyzes critical issues of the Rule Negotiating Group chair’s text. It also explores the consolidated text of the TPP negotiations. Based on the analysis, it concludes that the basic concept and the principle of the chair’s text are inconsistent with those of the ASCM, and that the structure of the text does not conform those of the ASCM and other WTO agreements. Likewise, the TPP text bears similar problems. Therefore, it is highly questionable whether WTO members and TPP parties can actually achieve the goal to conserve fishery resources. WTO members as well as TPP parties should try to address these problems, so that they can make real progress in negotiations.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Cho, Y. (2015) Revisiting WTO Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations. Beijing Law Review, 6, 9-15. doi: 10.4236/blr.2015.61002.

References

[1] TPP (2013). Environment Chapter—Consolidated Text. https://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
[2] WTO (2001). Ministerial Declaration, WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1, 20 November 2001.
[3] WTO (2005). Doha Work Programme—Ministerial Declaration Adopted on 18 December 2005, WT/MIN(05)/DEC, 22 December 2005.
[4] WTO (2006). Fisheries Subsidies—Exhaustive List of Non-Prohibited Fisheries Subsidies: Paper from New Zealand, TN/ RL/GEN/141, 6 June 2006.
[5] WTO (2007a). Possible Disciplines on Fisheries Subsidies—Paper from Brazil, TN/RL/GEN/79/Rev.4, 13 March 2007.
[6] WTO (2007b). Fisheries Subsidies—Proposed New Disciplines; Proposal from the US, TN/RL/GEN/145, 22 March 2007.
[7] WTO (2007c). Draft Consolidated Chair Texts of the AD and SCM Agreements, TN/RL/W/213, 30 November 2007.
[8] WTO (2008). New Draft Consolidated Chair Texts of the AD and SCM Agreements, TN/RL/W/236, 19 December 2008.
[9] WTO (2011). Cover Note by Chair, TN/C/13, 21 April 2011.
[10] WTO (2013). Bali Ministerial Declaration adopted on 7 December 2013, WT/MIN(13)/DEC, 11 December 2013.

  
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