Friday

20th Jul 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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

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 'tax lady' hits Google with record fine

Margrethe Vestager has fined the US tech giant with €4.34bn for abusing its market dominance in mobile operating systems - but assured US president Donald Trump that it is not because she does not like America.

MEPs side with Fry over McCartney on copyright

The European Parliament decided to take more time studying proposed changes to the EU's copyright regime, amidst fears of 'upload filters' - and accusations of scaremongering.

Mr Juncker goes to Washington

European Commission president will meet US president Donald Trump before the end of July to try to "de-dramatise" the tense trade relations.

EU and Japan wave light in Trump's 'darkness'

EU leaders and Japanese prime minister signed a series of agreements, including the EU's biggest trade deal ever, designed as an answer to the disruption of the world order by the US president.

News in Brief

  1. Italy's Salvini to sue critical anti-mafia writer
  2. EU countries send aircraft to Sweden to help with wildfires
  3. British ex-commissioner's jobs called into question
  4. May to tell EU to drop Irish border 'backstop' idea
  5. Trump threatens EU over Google fine
  6. Spain withdraws arrest warrant for Catalan separatists
  7. EU readies counter-measures on possible US car tariffs
  8. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's 'Stop Soros' law

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us