Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business, Christopher Sinckler (left), attending the Green Room Session of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Seated at right is Barbados’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations at Geneva, Ambassador Trevor Clarke.
The WTO meetings are being held in an effort to push the Doha Round of trade talks towards conclusion. Negotiations in the WTO have been stalled since 2006 due to contentious issues in the area of agriculture, industrial goods and services.
In the current agricultural negotiations, contention surrounds the issue of special products and the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) which is of importance to small vulnerable economies (SVEs) such as Barbados.
In respect of special products there is some dissatisfaction among developing countries regarding the implementation of tariff rate quotas and tariff capping on special products.