FratiniVergano’s latest issue of Trade Perspectives© is published
The first article provides an update on the intensifying debate on the reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), focusing on proposals by the EU and Canada, as well as a first initiative by the EU, Japan and the US. The article first provides some background information on WTO negotiations and problems impeding faster progress on important trade issues. The article then provides a detailed overview of the reform proposals recently published by the EU and by Canada and provides an outlook on their realisation. The article then discusses the outcome of a meeting between the Trade Minister from the EU, Japan and the US, who agreed, as a first step, to co-sponsor a transparency and notification proposal for consideration at the next meeting of the WTO Council on Trade in Goods. Finally, the article notes that non-governmental stakeholders are beginning to define their priorities concerning WTO modernisation, highlighting the position recently published by the European Services Forum.
The second article addresses the ongoing ‘Brexit’ negotiations between the EU and the UK, with particular emphasis on the agro-food sector and tariff rate-quotas (TRQs) for poultry. The article first provides background information on the ‘Brexit’ negotiations before going into further detail on two important aspects. First, the article discusses the issue of TRQs, namely for poultry imports. Such TRQs will need to be renegotiated with the EU’s and UK’s trading partners, with ‘Brexit’ adding quite some complexity to this issue. Secondly, the article discusses the issue of geographical indications (GIs), for which the UK is currently in the process of determining its future approach. The article concludes that with only around six months left until the UK is supposed to leave the EU, time was quickly running out for EU and UK negotiators, as well as for businesses and trading partners in the UK, within the EU and around the world. As the terms of ‘Brexit’ may not be clear until later this year, businesses need to start preparing for all possible outcomes on all issues
The third article addresses a proposal by the European Commission to amend Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 (the EU’s General Food Law or GFL), particularly its provisions on risk communication, and which is currently being debated within the European Parliament. The article discusses the definition of emerging food safety issues, lists a number of examples and addresses the regulatory side in the EU on emerging food safety issues, which need to be identified early in order to prevent them from developing into actual health risks. The article concludes that communicating about such emerging risks that have and will have a high impact on the agri-food activity can be challenging, as these risks are often associated with significant levels of uncertainty and ambiguity.