24th Mar 2018

EU and Australia push for resumption of Doha talks

Trade representatives from the European Union and Australia say they will push for further progress on the Doha round of multilateral trade talks at a meeting in Paris this week.

"I'm going to Paris with the very strong conviction that we now need to move forward speedily and we need to set a timetable [for the talks]," said European trade commissioner Catherine Ashton following a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (23 June) with Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Trade ministers from around the World will meet on the sidelines of an annual ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris later this week (24-25 June) to assess the political willingness to officially resume the Doha talks that stalled in July 2008.

Several non-OECD members have also been invited to the meeting including India, Brazil, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa, whose agreement will prove vital to securing a multilateral deal.

Mr Crean, who will chair the sideline talks, said he is keen to build on a re-engagement decision taken by the Cairns group – an eclectic bloc of 19 agricultural exporting countries - at a recent meeting in Bali at which China, Japan, India and the US also participated.

"We sense a political desire to want to move to the end-game. We have to capitalise on it," he said.

Recent US and Indian elections have slowed attempts to restart the talks, with the Democrat-dominated US Congress a potential stumbling block for the future.

Ms Ashton and Mr Crean also signed a mutual recognition agreement for product certification procedures on Tuesday, a move that will help to reduce business costs.

Agricultural subsidies

The two sides have traditionally clashed over the EU's farm subsidies, with Australia saying they amount to a major distortion of free trade.

While acknowledging the EU's progress in this area, partially brought about by various reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy, Mr Crean said "further work needs to be done."

"The Australian dairy industry has never looked back since it undertook structural reforms because it is producing for a world market competitively and that's what trade should be about," he said.

The EU recently re-introduced dairy exports subsidies to help European farmers struggling with the fall in world milk prices, but has committed to ditching all agricultural export subsidies by 2013, along with other members of the World Trade Organisation.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.

Trump keeps EU leaders waiting on tariffs

European leaders postponed their reaction to US announcement that the EU would be exempted from tariffs on steel and aluminium. "The devil is often in the details", said the Belgian PM.

Merkel in Paris for eurozone reform talks

Angela Merkel - who started her fourth term as Germany's chancellor earlier this week - is wasting no time on big issues like eurozone reforms. On Friday she is meeting Emmanuel Macron where the two will seek common ground.

VW dismisses complaints on Dieselgate fix

'I think customers who want to get information (...) are able to receive information if they want," VW management board member Hiltrud Werner told EUobserver. Consumer groups disagree.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Nordic states discuss targeted Russia sanctions
  2. Commission sticks to its line on Barroso case
  3. Germany and France promise new Russia sanctions
  4. EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'
  5. Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK
  6. EU leaders roll over Brexit talks amid Trump and Russia fears
  7. Europe needs corporate tax reform - a digital tax isn't it
  8. EU data chiefs rally behind UK over Cambridge Analytica