10 March 2010 - The WTO’s Agriculture Committee has moved to make members’ exchanges on their policies more readily available to the public. For the first time, questions and answers on farm trade policies in the 10 March 2010 meeting are being compiled into official WTO documents, with restricted circulation at first and then available publicly after 60 to 90 days.
Among the questions and answers in this first meeting of 2010 were exchanges on the latest developments towards agreeing the European Union’s revised commitments to take into account the addition of new members.
Separately — under “other business” — Australia, Brazil and Thailand expressed their concern about the EU increasing its sugar exports, which the EU said is not subsidized.
And the committee agreed that the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) should become an observer. Because WTO members are currently deliberating the issue of new observers, IICA will be an “ad hoc” (ie, not permanent) observer, invited to attend initially meeting by meeting.
These “regular” Agriculture Committee meetings deal with routine WTO work, and not the current negotiations, which take place in separate “special sessions”. The committee comprises all WTO members.
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