Russia’s ban on grain exports as a heat wave parches crops in the world’s third biggest wheat exporter has raised questions whether such export curbs break World Trade Organization rules. Russia is not a member of the WTO, and it remains to be seen how its new grain policy will affect its 17-year-old bid to join. But other grain exporters, such as Ukraine, which is also considering export curbs, are part of the global trade referee.
WTO rules are quite clear that members cannot interfere with imports and exports in a way that disrupts trade or discriminates against other members. But in practice most WTO rules aim to stop countries blocking imports – shutting out competitor’s goods to give their own domestic producers an unfair advantage.
GENEVA, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Australia’s decades-old
restrictions on imports of New Zealand apples break
international trade laws and should be amended, the World Trade
Organization said on Monday.
The WTO panel ruling should open the way for New Zealand to
resume sales of apples to its biggest trading partner after
nearly 90 years, and holds out the possibility of access to
other Asian markets where its apples are banned for similar
Like many trade disputes this one turned on health and
safety rules, which are vulnerable to being exploited by
domestic producers to ward off foreign competition.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization called on Friday for countries to work together more closely in trade in natural resources — an area often seen as exempt from many international commerce rules.
Governments must cooperate more intensively to deal with the challenges for both importing and exporting countries in trade in natural resources, such as export restrictions and import tariffs, it said in its annual World Trade Report.
GENEVA, July 22 (Reuters) – Global foreign direct investment
(FDI) flows will steady this year and rise further in 2011-12 as
cross-border mergers by multinational companies pick up on
growing business confidence, a United Nations agency said.
FDI, on which many developing countries rely to finance
their economies, will rise to $1.3-1.5 trillion in 2011 and
towards $1.6-2.0 trillion in 2012 from $1.2 trillion this year,
the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.
GENEVA, July 21 (Reuters) – The European Union said it will
appeal on Wednesday against a World Trade Organization ruling
condemning its subsidies for Airbus (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), prolonging a
dispute with the United States for at least several more months.
An EU source close to the case said Brussels would hand in
its appeal shortly before a special session of the WTO’s dispute
GENEVA, July 16 (Reuters) – Trade is moving back up the U.S.
political agenda and there is scope to reach a deal next year in
the long-running Doha round and other stalled trade
negotiations, industry lobbyists said on Friday.
But to get the backing of business, a Doha agreement must be
more ambitious than what is currently on the table, said
Christopher Wenk, senior director for international policy at
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Trading powers are putting forward news ideas on breaking down barriers to global commerce, indicating progress is possible in a key area of world trade negotiations, the diplomat chairing the talks said on Thursday.
Both developed and developing countries took part in a week of meetings on non-tariff barriers — obstacles to exports and imports besides import duties, said Luzius Wasescha, Switzerland’s ambassador to the World Trade Organisation.