5th WTO Ministerial Conference, Mexico

13 September 2003

Key points made by Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile on behalf of the Cairns Group on release of the second revision of the Draft Cancun Ministerial Text

I want to commend the Chairman on the effort which he and his facilitators have made, but on behalf of the members of the Cairns Group I have to say that the text falls short of the ambition we agreed on two years ago at Doha.

  • On domestic support, we are still concerned that notwithstanding the fact that many of the figures remain to be negotiated, the overall framework will not provide sufficient assurance of a genuinely substantial cut in the current or projected level of trade-distorting support.

  • On market access, we continue to have difficulties with the blended approaches in the text. Efforts have been made to clarify the approach, but there is still too much uncertainty. The commitment to expand TRQs must be much stronger.

  • On export subsidies, we and many other delegations are insisting on a clear commitment to the elimination of all export subsidies.
    • We welcome your attempt to meet this concern, but the fact is that we do not have a modalities framework unless there is an unequivocal commitment to a date by which all export subsidies will be eliminated
  • On paragraphs 6 and 7, we have major concerns. Both should be deleted as they include sensitive issues that are not part of the agriculture negotiations.

Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay

Last Updated: 24 February 2016