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UEMAO offensive to relaunch cotton dossier at the WTO

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Monday, 14 March 2011

UEMAO offensive to relaunch cotton dossier at the WTO

The multilateral negotiations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), launched in 2001 in Doha, are in an impasse. With regard to the crucial subject of eliminating American and European subsidies for cotton that worry the members of UEMOA and C4 (Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali and Chad), no significant improvement has been made since 2006. It is before this context that UEMOA has decided to launch an offensive with a view to put discussions about the Sectoral Cotton Initiative back on the WTO agenda. It is an initiative that aims at restarting cotton negotiations efforts. The offensive is essentially a lobbying effort towards the European Union and the United States in order to achieve a substantial reduction or even elimination of domestic subsidies that distort international cotton trade. With regarding to the European Union, the efforts are aimed at sensitising and mobilising Members of the European Parliament for African cotton in the framework of the current CAP revision. The reform process disregards the worries of the C4 countries when it comes to a complete decoupling of subsidies for cotton producers in Greece and Spain. The offensive will be officially launched on Tuesday 15 March in Brussels.

Source: UEMOA