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Daily News

November 13, 2001

Negotiators at the World Trade Organization ministerial continued to wrestle with the outstanding differences in a pending draft declaration at 3 AM local time in Doha, Qatar. Work is being conducted in small groups on a number of issues, including agriculture and implementation, after a select group of 20 countries had been unable to come up with an acceptable declaration draft, officials said.

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November 12, 2001

In the fight over patent protection rules and public health measures, “a small drafting group” has been set up, according to the official. Officials in Doha said a Nov. 11 meeting brought together a group that included the U.S. but excluded its allies in this fight --

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November 11, 2001

The European Union and Japan today joined with thirty-eight other members of the World Trade Organization in calling for a strong recognition in the draft declaration on agriculture that countries must be able to safeguard policies promoting goals unrelated to trade.

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A U.S. trade official acknowledged yesterday (Nov. 10) that cleared industry advisors who did not travel to Doha for the World Trade Organization's fourth ministerial meeting have not had as much access to information as U.S. officials had hoped.

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Some observers believe that Japan gave the U.S. a delicately worded signal that it could eventually live with the existing draft declaration in a Nov. 7 letter from Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to President George Bush. In that letter, Koizumi says he hopes Japan and the U.S. can cooperate on agriculture at the ministerial and points out that Japan is already playing a constructive role. But the letter also emphasized that antidumping and subsidies negotiations were an “essential” element of future WTO negotiations (Inside U.S. Trade, Nov. 9, p.1).

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November 10, 2001

Trade officials from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries today (Nov. 10) signaled a willingness to consider compromising in the contentious debate surrounding international patent protection rules and public health measures.

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DOHA -- A U.S. official today (Nov. 10) predicted that once they join the World Trade Organization, China and Taiwan would rely on bilateral negotiations to settle trade disputes with each other, as opposed to formal WTO dispute settlement procedures.

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DOHA -- The General Council of the World Trade Organization today (Nov. 10) formally adopted an agreement on China's terms of accession to the 142-member group.

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DOHA -- A senior Canadian trade official today (Nov. 10) pointed to a possible compromise in a divisive debate on public health and intellectual property, saying that an exception from intellectual property rules to deal with health crises, rather than the broader exception for public health sought by developing countries, might be acceptable.

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DOHA -- World Trade Organization members in their first full day of meetings at the fourth ministerial conference in Qatar had yet to settle the controversial demand that industrialized countries implement their trade obligations in a way that benefits developing countries more.

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