Now that I've had some time to digest what transpired in Hong Kong's multi-laterial Doha trade meetings...
Well let's start with my favorite Doha quote, from Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorin: "This has been a very important conference...we have a document." Yes this is what our society has come to. Back to the point.
This important document outlines several important agreements made by the 149 countries who participated in the WTO talks. Agreements in brief:
- Cotton subsidies would be eliminated by developed countries in 2006
- Agricultural export subsidies will end by 2013
- Least developed countries (LDCs), including many African cotton producing countries, will have duty and quota free access to markets in developed countries, like the U.S.
- General good feeling towards lower trade barriers...thus setting up the framework for the next meeting
But of course, much of this may be thrown out the window by the U.S. congress if nothing is signed before President Bush's Trade Promotion Authority expires and is not renewed come July, 2007. Keep your eyes peeled.
Doha Document from WTO (# WT/MIN(05)/W/3/Rev.2)