Update on WTO fisheries subsidies talks

Links to some key documents and news

Fishing boats | Edi Libedinsky via Unsplash CC0

By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED APRIL 21, 2021 | UPDATED AS INDICATED

As the drive for a WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies hots up, links will be added here for new documents and news items. The latest aim was to conclude all or most of the subject by July 2021 — a target that has now slipped — and for a formal agreement to be struck at the ministerial conference at the end of the year


July 15, 2021Optimism after WTO ministers meet on fisheries subsidies, despite splits, including links to other reports and more information. See also: WTO news story, opening and closing statements by the WTO director-General and the negotiations’ chair, video of press conference

June 30, 2021Fisheries subsidies chair floats new text 15 days before ministers meet, including chair’s statement for media. Links to the chair’s revised 8-page draft (TN/RL/W/276/Rev.1) and 17-page explanation (TN/RL/W/276/Rev.1/Add.1). See also this WTO news story

May 27, 2021The use of forced labor on fishing vessels, US proposal

May 11, 2021New fisheries subsidies text published as talks head for endgame, including chair’s statement for media. The 9-page new text is here, with a 26-page explanation (and correction, June 9) from the chair. See also this WTO news story

April 21, 2021Ministerial meeting eyed for July as fisheries subsidies negotiations enter final phase (WTO news story). See also this from AFP

April 21, 2021 — Negotiations’ chair, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia: summary of statement to the meeting (WTO news) and statement for media

April 21, 2021 — Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s statement to heads of delegations in the negotiations, including a proposal for a meeting with ministers in July. Now also on the WTO website

Negotiating at distance: the podium in the online talks | WTO
Negotiating at distance: the podium in the online talks, Okonjo-Iweala (centre left) and Wills (centre right), April 21, 2021 | WTO

April 12, 2021DG calls on WTO members to narrow remaining gaps in fisheries subsidies negotiations (WTO news story)

December 2020 — the chair’s draft consolidated text has been leaked here.

WTO news archive: fisheries subsidies


Main photo: Fishing boats | Edi Libedinsky via Unsplash, CC0

Author: Peter Ungphakorn

I used to work at the WTO Secretariat (1996–2015), and am now an occasional freelance journalist, focusing mainly on international trade rules, agreements and institutions. (Previously, analysis for AgraEurope.) Trade β Blog is for trialling ideas on trade and any other subject, hence “β”. You can respond by using the contact form on the blog or tweeting @CoppetainPU