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BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 3, Number 21 31 May, 1999





EVENTS & RESOURCES

EVENTS

For a more complete list of events in coming months, please refer to
ICTSD's web calendar at: www.ictsd.org/html/calendar.htm

WTO Meetings

An updated list of forthcoming WTO meetings is posted at
www.wto.org/wto/about/meets.htm. Please bear in mind that dates and times
of WTO meetings are often changed, and that the WTO does not always
announce the important informal meetings of different WTO bodies.

3 June: DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY, special meeting on hormone beef. For
information contact Nuch Nazeer, WTO, (41-22) 739-5393.

3-4 June: WORKING GROUP ON RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TRADE AND INVESTMENT.

 For information contact Luis Ople, WTO, (41-22) 739-5374.

4 June: COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT.
 For information contact Lucie Giraud, WTO, (41-22) 739-5075.

Other Events

7-11 June, WORKSHOP ON LEGAL ASPECTS OF IMPLEMENTING BIODIVERSITY RELATED
CONVENTIONS. Organised by UNEP Regional Office for Europe and IUCN - The
World Conservation Union. The workshop will be held in Kokshetau,
Kazakhstan.
 For information, contact Mark Berman, UNEP ROE, tel: (41-22) 917-8395,
fax: 917-8024, email: mark.berman@unep.ch

7-11 June, 14-18 June, 21-25 June: INTERNATIONAL TRAINING WORKSHOP ABOUT
INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT, INTERNATIONAL FINANCE, AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE.
US$1,850 a week with discounts for attending multiple weeks.
 For information contact David Johnson, Director of the Office of Special
Programs & Advanced Legal Studies, tel: (1-202) 274- 4003, email:
djohnson@wcl.american.edu

9 June: FIGHTING SWEATSHOPS THROUGH UNIVERSITY LOGOS. This luncheon
meeting, organised by the Consumer's Choice Council, aims to use the
economic and instutional value of US University logos as a lever with
which labour rights groups can fight against sweatshops. For information
contact Alexei Montserrat, Consumer's Choice Council, 2000 P St, NW, suite
308, Washington DC 20036, tel: (1-202) 785-1950, fax: 452-9640, email:
consumer@ibm.net, web: www.consumerscouncil.org

14-25 June: SECOND ANNUAL EXECUTIVE PROGRAM ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND
DEVELOPMENT. Organised by Harvard Institute for International Development.
 For information contact Theodore Panayatou, HIID, tel: (1- 617) 495-9173,
fax: (1-617) 496-3956, email: tpanayot@hiid.harvard.edu, web:
www.hiid.harvard.edu

8-10 July: Wellington, New Zealand: WEALTH, SECURITY AND SURVIVAL:
IMPLEMENTATION, COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL LAW. Sessions
include: international environmental protection, regional security,
international economic relations.
 For information contact PO Box 2160, Wellington, New Zealand, email:
ilanewzealand@yahoo.com, fax: (64-4) 499-8992.

23 August-10 December, San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina: XIX CURSO
LATINOAMERICANO DE POSGRADO EN ECONOMMA Y POLMTICA ENERGITICA Y AMBIENTAL.
 For information contact Dr. Hector Pistonesi, Av. 12 de Octubre 1915
C.C.138, 8400 Bariloche, Rmo Negro, Argentina, tel/fax: (542944) 42 2050,
web: www.bariloche.com.ar/ideefb

RESOURCES

THE CDM IN CONTEXT: CONCEPTUAL AND FUNCTIONAL LINKAGES BETWEEN THE KYOTO
PROTOCOL AND EXISTING FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, by Jacob Werksman. report
prepared for the Expert Consultation Meeting on the Clean Development
Mechanism, Bridgetown "The CDM of the Kyoto Protocol: Opportunities and
Challenges for the Caribbean and Small Island Developing States" Summary
Report of a Workshop Barbados, 29-30 October 1998, 15 pp.
 For information contact Clare Duckney, Foundation for International
Environmental Law and Development, tel: (44-171) 637- 7950, fax: 637-7951,
email: cd2@soas.ac.uk

CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOCIATIONS: AN ANALYSIS OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL, by Farhama
Yamin, in Vol. 10, Nos 3/4 International Journal of Environment and
Pollution, 1998.
 For information contact Clare Duckney, as above.

GROWING PAINS: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, edited by
Walter Wehrmeyer and Yacob Mulugetta. Includes case studies and research
in South-East Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe on issues
including globalisations, climate change, biodiversity, environmental
performance and trade. To order contact Greenleaf publishing, Aizlewood
Business Centre, Aizlewood's Mill, Nursery St, Sheffield S3 8GC, UK, tel:
(44-114) 282-3475, fax: 282-3476, email: greenleaf@worldscope.co.uk, web:
www.greenleaf-publishing.com







Table of Contents                           

- EC Outlines Banana Proposals
- OECD: Ministers Meet With Developing Countries
- WTO Dispute Review May Propose Changing Implementation Provisions
- WTO Accession Update
- WHO Adopts Strategy On Medicine and Trade
- Andean Countries Meet Amid Tension
- Africa: Ministers Meet On Building Economic Community
- Commission Calls For Forest Security Council:
  Forest Pressures
- In Brief
- WTO In Brief
- On The Move
- Events & Resources



EC OUTLINES BANANA PROPOSALS

The European Commission (EC) last week released a paper outlining three
possible options for complying with a WTO ruling against its banana import
regime. The EC proposed that the EU implement either a tariff- only regime
for Latin American bananas and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
bananas:
  a system in which separate quotas for ACP and Latin American bananas are
maintained but ACP bananas face no ceiling on imports:
  or a regime under which a new tariff-rate quota is established for Latin
American bananas and ACP bananas. The latter two options would require the
EU to continue its licensing system for banana imports, a key point of
disagreement between the EU and U.S.

A U.S. official expressed disappointment that the EC proposals did not
include the one favoured by the U.S.: applying a tariff higher than 75
Euros on all bananas except ACP bananas which would still enjoy duty free
access, eliminating the need for quotas and licences. "Once again, they
seem to be rejecting the easiest, simplest option," according to the U.S.
official. Caribbean countries worry that the U.S. scheme would result in a
flood of so-called dollar bananas on the EU market.

The Commission is expected to recommend a preferred solution from the
three options by August. EU member states must then reach agreement on a
revised regime. However, EU member states are divided over banana trade,
with Germany favouring more liberalisation and France and Britain keen to
protect former colonies.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of U.S. and Caribbean officials earlier this
month, Nevis-St. Kitts Prime Minister Denzil Douglas accused the U.S. of
using the banana dispute to enrich a few at the expense of thousands of
Caribbean islanders. "Thousands of Caribbean people have suffered and will
continue to suffer as a result of this decision, while a tiny group of
wilful fat barons stand to become even richer," Mr. Douglas said. The U.S.
official attending the meeting noted that the U.S. has developed several
initiatives to promote Caribbean economic development, and that ignorance
of those programs "provoked such a sense of deep disappointment" expressed
by Mr. Douglas and other Caribbean leaders in recent months.

 "EU Commission details options for resolving banana dispute," WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 27 May 1999:
  "Caribbean leader: U.S. banana war will hurt more than help," ASSOCIATED
PRESS, 14 May 1999:
  "EU releases option paper on compliance with WTO banana panel," INSIDE
US TRADE, 27 May 1999:
  "Brussels offers options to end banana dispute," FINANCIAL TIMES, 27 May
1999:
  "La "banane euro" contre la "banane dollar," LE FIGARO, 27 May 1999.






OECD: MINISTERS MEET WITH DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Ministers to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) last week met on a number of issues. Ministers endorsed a new round
of global trade talks, but dropped from their official communique any
wording endorsing WTO talks on a multilateral agreement on investment.
Members could not agree on various aspects around a statement on
investment, including language that would have officially announced that
negotiations in the OECD on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)
had ended, so a statement on investment at the WTO was dropped.

Talks on an MAI unofficially ended last year amid vigorous opposition by
labour, environment and citizens' groups critical of the OECD for not
incorporating labour and environment standards in the MAI. The OECD had
also been strongly criticised for its failure to include developing
countries in MAI negotiations.

Ministers from eight developing countries were invited to attend a Special
Ministerial Dialogue on global trade as part of the OECD ministerial
meeting: reflecting, according to the OECD, the interdependence of the
developed OECD countries and the developing world. Ministers from
Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Slovakia, and South
Africa attended. Non-OECD members are expected to account for 60 percent
of world economic output by 2020, an OECD official said. "It is critical
that there be important integration and dialogue with these countries to
fully understand the roles the OECD can play in bringing them into the
mainstream of international commerce," the official said.

OECD members agreed that a new round of global trade talks, "must be
responsive to the needs of all developing countries, through capacity
building, to ensure their economic growth and that they fully reap the
gains of liberalisation:
  in this respect, particular emphasis must be given to the special needs
of least developed countries, including improved market access," according
to the OECD communique. Many developing countries, notably India, are
however opposed to a new round of trade talks until impacts of the Uruguay
Round on developing countries have been fully assessed.

Regarding sustainable development, OECD ministers agreed that, "The
pursuit of sustainable development, including global challenges such as
climate change, the sustainable management of natural resources, and the
conservation of biodiversity, is a key objective for OECD countries,"
according to the communique. However, there was no agreement as to whether
issues such as labour, environment and ethics should be a "substantive
part" of a new round of WTO talks.

Ministers welcomed and endorsed the OECD Principles of Corporate
Governance. The principles are intended to assist governments in their
efforts to evaluate and improve countries' financial frameworks, and
strengthen the international financial system. The debate on corporate
governance brought to the fore the issue of stakeholder versus shareholder
in overseeing company decision making. The principles address what role
stakeholders - employees, trade unions, customers, suppliers, financiers
and the environment, play in decision making.

  "OECD Ministerial Communique," OECD, 27 May 1999:
  "OECD drops contested investment wording, proceeds on WTO round," INSIDE
US TRADE, 27 May 1999:
  "Industrial giants seek helping hand from developing world on trade,"
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 25 May 1999:
  "L'OCDE se preoccupe des differends commerciaux," LE MONDE, 26 May 1999:
  "L'OCDE bute sur le contenu du prochain cycle commercial," LA TRIBUNE,
28 May, 1999:
  "Industrial world supports new round but disagrees on details," AGENCE
FRANCE-PRESSE, 27 May 1999:
  "Stakeholder v shareholder issue returns to public agenda," THE
AUSTRALIAN, 26 May 1999.






WTO DISPUTE REVIEW MAY PROPOSE CHANGING IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

The Dispute Settlement Body is currently meeting in informal sessions
practically every week to continue its review of the Dispute Settlement
Understanding (DSU), that began last year (see BRIDGES Weekly Trade News
Digest, Vol. 2, No 38, 5 Oct., 1998). A broad range of issues have been
discussed by delegates in the context of the review, and many proposals
for changes have been put forward. At this stage however it seems unlikely
that WTO Members will make any changes to the text of the DSU within the
time frame set for completing the review - i.e. by July this year. It does
on the other hand seem likely that Members will send a recommendation to
Ministers gathering in Seattle for the WTO Ministerial Meeting in
November-December, that the DSU be amended to clarify its rules on
implementation of, and compliance with WTO dispute settlement decisions
(see also BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest, Vol. 3, No 6, February 15,
1999).

Two other issues stood out as particularly important in the context of the
DSU review: transparency and participation, and improved developing
country access to the dispute settlement system. The latter issue has been
to a great extent defused by the fact that an "Advisory Centre on WTO Law"
will likely be set up by the end of this year (see related story in this
issue (in On the Move). The issue of transparency and amicus briefs on the
other hand is so sensitive that no change to the system is likely. One
must remember that any change to the DSU has to be made by consensus and
some Members - including Pakistan: Brazil and Malaysia - have been vocal
in their opposition to allowing NGO input into the dispute settlement
process.

The likelihood of there being a recommendation to change the DSU regarding
compliance and implementation is heightened by the fact that there are
some precise proposals ("non-papers") on the table in this regard, from
Australia, Canada, Ecuador, India and the Philippines. Canada is proposing
that a new Article - 21bis - be inserted in the place of current Article
21.5. This new article would specify, inter alia, how compliance with a
DSB ruling would be determined, how the process would be sequenced with
DSU Article 22. The Canadian proposal also puts forward a procedure for
lifting sanctions, which the DSU as it currently stands does not provide
for.

The Indian proposal sets forth a procedure for appealing compliance
decisions, while the Canadian one suggests that the Appellate Body decide
whether there is compliance with a DSB decision - implying that compliance
decisions could not be appealed.

ICTSD Internal Files.






WTO ACCESSION UPDATE

Cambodia last week said it hopes to enter the WTO by the end of 1999. It
is expected to submit required preliminary documentation for admission to
the WTO this week. Cambodia was recently admitted to the regional
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): the country hopes WTO
entry will help build its export base.

WTO officials were informed last week that New Caledonia will soon request
WTO Membership. New Caledonia, a French territory, will have its own
government as of this week. Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement
establishing the WTO allows any State or separate customs territory to
accede to the WTO.

Russia is preparing a plan on service import restrictions in advance of a
July meeting with WTO Members on its accession to the trade organisation.
Russian officials noted that reducing tariffs would be a difficult task in
certain sectors, noting specifically light industry, food, tobacco,
transportation and some branches of the chemical industry.

King Abdullah of Jordan earlier this month said Jordan is prepared to make
the reforms necessary to facilitate its entry to the WTO. The U.S.
emphasised that implementing an adequate intellectual property rights
regime would be key for Jordanian WTO accession. Jordan hopes to gain WTO
admission by year's end.

Taiwan's economic minister earlier this month said Taiwan is optimistic it
will be admitted to the WTO later this year. Taiwan must still conclude
talks with Canada and Hong Kong. Reaching an accession accord with Hong
Kong is expected to be quite difficult: China (which rules Hong Kong) is
adamantly opposed to Taiwan's accession before its own as China considers
Taiwan a rogue state.

Japan and China are expected to conclude a bilateral accord on China's
accession by July. Australia, Germany and France this month also endorsed
China's entry to the WTO by year's end. Meanwhile, China last week said it
would not resume accession talks with the U.S. until it received a
"thorough and complete" explanation regarding the NATO bombing of the
Chinese embassy in Belgrade earlier this month. The announcement comes as
U.S. officials say allegations around China's stealing of U.S. high
technology secrets will not impede U.S. interest in concluding a bilateral
deal. However, both China and the U.S. accuse the other of reneging on
promises made with respect to China's accession.

There are currently 31 governments requesting accession to the WTO. Those
in the queue include Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Lebanon, Nepal, Saudi
Arabia, Ukraine and Vietnam.

  "Cambodia to bid for WTO entry by years-end - official," ASSOCIATED
PRESS, 22 May 1999:
  "Russia preparing papers for July talks on WTO entry," REUTERS, 17 May
1999:
  "U.S. balks at WTO membership for Jordan," REUTERS, 17 May 1999:
  "Taiwan could join WTO this year: economic minister," AGENCE
FRANCE-PRESSE, 17 May 1999:
  "China to shun further trade talks with US," FINANCIAL TIMES, 27 May
1999:
  "Japan, China could agree on WTO entry by end of May," KYODO NEWS
INTERNATIONAL, 17 May 1999:
  "Australia supports China's 1999 entry into WTO," KYODO NEWS
INTERNATIONAL, 18 May 1999:
  "Germany, France, call for China WTO entry," REUTERS, 18 May 1999:
  "US still hopes China can join WTO this year despite spying row," AGENCE
FRANCE PRESSE, 27 May 1999:
  
ICTSD Internal Files.






WHO ADOPTS STRATEGY ON MEDICINE AND TRADE

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 24 May approved a Revised Drug
Strategy providing a clear role for the WHO in addressing the impacts of
trade agreements on the access to medicine for poor countries. The
resolution updates the original WHO drug strategy adopted in 1986 to
ensure equitable access to drugs, rational use of drugs, and drug quality.

The revised strategy dropped controversial language proposed last year by
the World Health Assembly which opponents viewed as highly critical toward
trade agreements such as the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement), and which U.S.
pharmaceutical companies argued would undermine global protection of
patented medicines. The WHO established a committee to work out
differences between constituents over the last year to achieve the
resolution passed last week.

The resolution notes that the TRIPs Agreement "provides scope for the
protection of public health" and calls on the WHO to work with governments
and international organisations "in monitoring and analysing the
pharmaceutical and public health implications of relevant international
agreements, including trade agreements, so that Member States can
effectively assess and subsequently develop pharmaceutical and health
policies and regulatory measures that address their concerns and
priorities, and are able to maximise the positive and mitigate the
negative impacts of those agreements."

The resolution also omits language from last year's proposed resolution
that expressed concern that new world trade agreements "may have a
negative impact on local manufacturing capacity and the access to and
prices of pharmaceuticals in developing countries."

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) welcomed the resolution "We are very
concerned about the growing number of lives at risk because of unequal
access to medicines," said Dr. Bernard Pecoul of Medecins Sans Frontieres
(MSF). "MSF, together with Health Action International and the Consumer
Project on Technology wholeheartedly support the passage of the resolution
on the revised drug strategy . . . We believe that the resolution helps to
address the negative consequences of trade agreements on access to
medicines."

  "L'OMS veut faire passer la sante avant l'economie dans les pays
pauvres," LE MONDE, 26 May 1999:
  "Critical decision tomorrow at World Health Assembly," ICDA PRESS
RELEASE, 21 May 1999:
  "WHO to address trade and pharmaceuticals," WHO PRESS RELEASE, 22 May
1999:
  "WHO members ratify drug strategy opposed by U.S. pharmaceutical
companies," INTERNATIONAL TRADE REPORTER, 26 May 1999.






ANDEAN COUNTRIES MEET AMID TENSION

The Andean Community met last week for a presidential summit marking its
30th anniversary. The group - comprising Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
and Venezuela, were expected to have an uneasy reunion amid trade disputes
between members, and economic problems in the region. Colombia, Venezuela
and Ecuador have each adopted protectionist policies toward fellow Andean
members recently- casting a shadow on plans for further economic
integration for the grouping. The Andean Community hopes to reach an
agreement by next year with neighbouring MERCOSUR that would eventually
create a free trade zone encompassing about 310 million consumers (see
also BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest, Vol. 3, No.3, 25 Jan. 1999, and
Vol. 3, No. 8, 1 March 1999). Talks between the two groups have stalled
recently, leading Venezuela to warn that it will pursue independent
negotiations with MERCOSUR if the Andean Community cannot collectively
reach an agreement with MERCOSUR - fuelling internal Andean tension.

"Andean nations face challenge to pull together," REUTERS, 26 May 1999:
"Clouds over Andean Community," IPS, 25 May 1999.






AFRICA: MINISTERS MEET ON BUILDING ECONOMIC COMMUNITY

Ministers to the African Economic Community (AEC) met last week to discuss
forging integrated transport, communications and tourism policies.
Officials noted that poor infrastructure for road transport remained an
obstacle toward intra-African trade. Ministers agreed to a protocol to
promote the establishment of integrated networks to "facilitate the free
movement of persons, goods and services between member states and with a
view to furthering their physical and economic integration."

Five years ago, African countries signed the Abuja Treaty establishing the
African Economic Community (AEC) covering such areas as the removal of
tariff and non-tariff barriers to regional and intra-community trade in
goods and services, and the harmonisation of customs duties and
procedures.

Also last week, the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) encouraged
efforts toward better African economic integration in order to improve
Africa's competitiveness in the global marketplace. Speaking at a trade
summit for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) (see
also BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest, Vol. 3, No. 20, 24 May 1999) an OAU
official stressed the need for more meaningful co- operation between
developed and developing countries to address the imbalances of
globalisation.

 "Ministers meet on building African Economic Community:" "OAU asks Africa
to be coherent in global economics," PANAFRICAN NEWS AGENCY, 25 May 1999:
  "Ministers adopt protocol on communications sector," PANAFRICAN NEWS
AGENCY, 26 May 1999.






COMMISSION CALLS FOR FOREST SECURITY COUNCIL:
  FOREST PRESSURES

The World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development last month
proposed several mechanisms to curtail the destruction of the world's
forest resources. The Commission proposed a mechanism to measure the
economic value of unexploited forests and mechanisms to help monitor the
global threat to forests. The Commission called for a Forest Security
Council (FSC) to be created to help alter the trend of forest decline. The
FSC would be comprised of countries with prominent forest cover- such as
Russia and Indonesia, as well as major importers of wood products,
including the U.S., Brazil and Japan. The Commission also recommended the
establishment of a Forest Capital Index, which would take into account the
economic benefits from the ecological functions of the forest rather than
solely reflecting timber value.

At a hearing on competition in wood and paper industries held last week by
the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), U.S. paper and wood
industry officials urged the ITC to address unfair trade barriers to wood
and paper as part of the next round of WTO talks. Industry officials said
subsidised Asian and Latin American wood and paper products threaten the
competitiveness of the U.S. wood and paper industry. At the same hearing,
environmental groups warned against relaxing tariffs for wood products,
warning that to do so would lead to increased demand for wood products and
subsequent deforestation in many developing countries.

In other news, a Malawi reforestation programme could serve as the model
for a regional conservation plan under development by the Southern African
Development Community (SADC). The Malawi model engages local communities,
especially women, in efforts to stem the loss of tree cover. Malawi, an
SADC member, loses two percent of its tree cover each year, as the
population seeks farmland and fuelwood. Sceptics note that SADC is
unlikely to quickly adopt the Malawi co-management model as natural
resource management schemes are a low priority for SADC governments under
pressure to devise programs that would provide more immediate returns for
domestic governments, donors and private sector investors.

Finnish and environmental activists are calling on UPM-Kymmne, a large
Finnish forestry company, to withdraw from Indonesia. The groups say UPM
is in partnership with the Indonesian firm Asia Pacific Resource Holdings
Ltd (APRIL), where together the companies are depleting rain forests and
displacing local communities. UPM officials deny the groups allegations,
noting that the companies logging practices are in line with Indonesian
logging policies. Meanwhile, Greenpeace Belgium last week announced that
it will meet with officials from eight large Belgian timber importers to
discuss what Greenpeace alleges are unsustainable logging practices in
Cameroon. Greenpeace activists last month temporarily blocked the
unloading of a timber shipment from Cameroon at a Belgium port.

  "SADC looks at Malawi forestry model," "Environment-Indonesia: unholy
alliance under fire in Finland," IPS, 16 May 1999:
  "Environment: New plan to save world's forests," IPS, 19 April 1999:
  "SADC looks at Malawi forestry model:
 " AFRICA ANALYSIS, 14 May 1999:
  "Greenpeace Belgium protests Cameroon logging," REUTERS, 21 May 1999:
  "Wood tariffs must be trade priority- US industry," REUTERS, 24 May
1999.






IN BRIEF

Representatives from 60 emerging markets, investors and international
agencies last week met in Geneva to promote investment opportunities and
partnerships in emerging markets. Organisers of Emerging Markets
International Fair (EMA'99) hope the event will generate business between
investors looking for new opportunities and developing economies looking
for foreign capital investment. Well over 1,000 exhibitors were expected.
Conferences on subjects such as "Culture and Investment," and
micro-investments were also held.

 "Les pays emergents atterrissent a  Geneve," TRIBUNE DE GENEVE, 27 May
1999.

A soon-to-be-released study from the Institute for International Economics
finds that the EU spends up to seven percent of its GDP (US$600 billion)
on various trade protections: a figure comparable to EU trade protections
a decade ago, prior to the Uruguay Round and the creation of a single EU
market.

 "Europe's burden," THE ECONOMIST, 22 May 1999.






WTO IN BRIEF

Philippine officials last week indicated the country would seek an
extension past the 2000 deadline for meeting WTO trade liberalisation
commitments. Officials said the economic turmoil in the region has delayed
necessary legislative changes necessary to facilitate trade liberalisation
there.

 "Philippines to seek delay in WTO commitments," AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 25
May 1999.

The U.S. and Canada last week reached agreement in principle to end their
so-called magazine war. (See BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 3, No.
6, 15 February 1999.) Canada agreed to increase the share of advertising
Canadian firms are allowed to purchase in split-run U.S. publications
distributed in Canada to a maximum 18-percent within three years. The U.S.
had wanted a 25-percent maximum level. Canada has argued that levels above
10-percent pose a threat to Canadian publications that would ultimately
weaken Canadian culture.

 "Canada, US reached deal on magazine war - officials," AGENCE
FRANCE-PRESSE, 25 May 1999.

The WTO last week agreed to establish a dispute settlement panel to
consider a U.S. complaint that South Korea is illegally obstructing
imports of U.S. beef. S. Korea's economic crisis has forced a change in
its beef market as its cattle farmers liquidate herds and consumers can no
longer afford beef products.

 "Trade body to probe U.S. claims in Korea beef row," REUTERS, 26 May
1999.

EU Agriculture Minister Franz Fischler last week said the EU would push
for agricultural policies that help the environment in upcoming WTO talks
on agriculture.

 "EU"s Fischler says to push green issues at WTO," REUTERS, 27 May 1999.

India last week announced it would appeal a WTO ruling against its
quantitative import restrictions on agricultural, textile and industrial
products. (See BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 3, No. 13-14, 12
April 1999.)

"India files appeal on quantitative restrictions: authority of WTO
appellate body challenged," "Centre appeals against DSB ruling on removal
of QRs," ECONOMIC TIMES (India), 27 May 1999.






ON THE MOVE

Former WTO Director-General Renato Ruggiero earlier this month was tapped
to take over as Chair of ENI - Europe's third largest oil group.

"Ex-WTO chief to become chairman of Italian oil giant ENI," AGENCE
FRANCE-PRESSE, 21 May 1999.


Jacob Werksman, Managing Director of London-based Foundation for
International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) is stepping back
from management responsibilities to focus on legal and academic work.
FIELD is thus seeking to hire a Director who will be responsible for
policy direction and management as well as contribute to substantive
international legal work. Closing date for applications: 4 June 1999.
Contact: FIELD, tel: (44-171) 637-7950, fax: 637-7951, email:
cd2@soas.ac.uk, web: www.field.org.uk "Search for a new Director," FIELD
IN BRIEF, No. 7, Spring 1999.

The Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) (see BRIDGES Weekly Trade News
Digest, Vol. 3, No 7, February 22, 1999) will be prelaunched in Geneva on
7 June. The ACWL will provide legal expertise and training to developing
countries and economies in transition, in order to enhance human resources
and ensure full participation of these countries in the WTO. Sixteen
countries - including Bangladesh, Colombia, Guatemala, the Netherlands,
the Philippines, Tanzania, the UK and Zimbabwe - are now founding members
of the ACWL. The ACWL is expected to have enough members to be launched
before the end of this year.

 "WTO's Disputes Settlement System and the Proposed Centre on WTO Law,",
SEATINI BULLETIN, 15 April 1999:
  ICTSD Internal Files.






------------------------------------------------------------------------
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest) is published by the 
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development 
(ICTSD) with support from the Institute for Agriculture and 
Trade Policy (IATP). This issue has been researched by Hugo 
Cameron and Marie Chamay:
  written by Judy Brienza (IATP) 
and edited by Caroline Dommen, cdommen@ictsd.ch. The 
Director is Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz, rmelendez@ictsd.ch. 
ICTSD is an independent, not-for-profit organization based 
at: 13, ch des Anemones, 1219 Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: (41 
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