WTO negotiations in Abu Dhabi: stalemate amidst national interests

Foodcom Experts
3 min reading
WTO negotiations in Abu Dhabi: stalemate amidst national interests
Table of contents
  • E-commerce moratorium extended despite opposition.
  • No resolution on the dispute settlement system crisis.
  • Agriculture and fisheries negotiations failed to reach agreements.



E-Commerce and dispute resolution

In the area of e-commerce, despite objections from countries such as India and South Africa, an agreement was reached to extend the suspension of tariffs on digital products until the next ministerial conference in two years’ time. In addition, the countries have committed to resuming talks in 2024 to resolve the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, which has been stalled for four years due to opposition from the United States. This deadlock has made it considerably more difficult to resolve various trade conflicts.

Agriculture and fisheries

No consensus could be reached in the area of agriculture, as India opposed proposals on public procurement policy for food security, citing internal constraints. Negotiations also stalled in the area of fisheries, despite a partial agreement in 2022, when it came to restricting government subsidies that encourage overfishing. These discussions underlined the enormous challenge of reconciling different national interests in global trade talks.

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