Home Investing News Factbox-What was agreed at WTO negotiations in Abu Dhabi?

Factbox-What was agreed at WTO negotiations in Abu Dhabi?


Factbox-What was agreed at WTO negotiations in Abu Dhabi? By Reuters

Breaking News



Published Mar 01, 2024 07:28AM ET
Updated Mar 01, 2024 07:50PM ET

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Delegates pose for a family photo during the 13th WTO ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 26, 2024. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi/File Photo

By Emma Farge

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiators failed to break a deadlock on major reforms in the early hours of Saturday despite talks extending deep into overtime in Abu Dhabi, in what some delegates said was a triumph of national interest over collective responsibility.

Here is a summary of what was achieved and what was not:


– Countries agreed to extend a moratorium on placing tariffs on digital goods until the next ministerial conference in two years’ time. Then the deal is set to expire at the start of that meeting, requiring more extensive negotiations.

– Several countries, including India and South Africa, were opposed to the extension of a moratorium on e-commerce backed by the vast majority of countries and seen as vital to businesses to avoid tariffs on digital goods like film downloads.

– On the plus side, a draft programme has been agreed for future work beyond Abu Dhabi.


– Countries agreed to commit to continue negotiations in 2024 to try to resolve a crisis in its dispute settlement system whose top court has been hobbled for four years due to U.S. opposition.

– This means many trade disputes are unresolved since countries can appeal them into a legal void and the WTO’s rules cannot be enforced.

– India’s minister Piyush Goyal has said it is “sad” countries are obstructing outcomes. He did not mention Washington directly but said he had raised a lack of progress on fixing the WTO’s dispute system with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in a meeting earlier this week.

– Tai has said negotiations on this issue are positive and have shown progress. However, delegates say obstacles abound and are privately sceptical of them making much further headway in a U.S. presidential election year.

– A group of countries sought to reach a friendly agreement, supported by the European Union, to refrain from appealing WTO disputes into the void but this did not win consensus among members in Abu Dhabi, trade sources said.


– No agreement was reached in Abu Dhabi.

– India, which is facing farmer protests at home and has elections due by May, had sought a permanent solution on public stockholding (PSH) – a term that refers to state policies on food procurement aimed at ensuring food security.

– Two alternative solutions were envisaged in a draft agreement. One aimed to find a permanent solution to the issue at this meeting and the other one commits to intensify negotiations and extend to other developing countries the privileges only India currently enjoys under WTO rules.

– India rejected the second proposal, intended to appease them, in talks between a few key countries including the United States, Brazil and China, a source in the room said.


– No deal was reached in Abu Dhabi.

– Countries had tried to agree to the second part of an international WTO agreement to curb government subsidies that critics say encourage industrial fishing fleets to empty the world’s oceans. A first part was agreed in 2022 and will take effect if and when enough countries ratify it.

– Many participants, including USTR’s Tai, saw this as the most likely topic where a deal could be reached. Environmentalists say it is vital for the world’s oceans.

– The chair of the talks issued a new draft agreement on Friday morning with a few sections still in yellow, indicating areas of non-agreement including rules for phase-in periods for developing countries.

Factbox-What was agreed at WTO negotiations in Abu Dhabi?

Our Apps

Terms And Conditions
Privacy Policy
Risk Warning
Do not sell my personal information

© 2007-2024 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

Related News