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Breakdown in the WTO negotiations
With the de facto breakdown in the WTO negotiations in the summer of 2006, there is now a freeze in all negotiation processes under the World Trade Organization. This also includes the negotiation on domestic regulations.
The halt in the negotiations came because of a controversy on markets access for and subsidies on agriculture products. However, since this is such a major issues for many countries, the breakdown on this point has had the consequence that also the GATS negotiations on trade in services have been halted.
Today nobody knows if, when and how the negotiations may be back on track again. Some countries are pushing for an immediate resumption, while others are just waiting. But once the negotiations start up again, one must expect that things will move very fast.
This means that NGOs who have the intention to influence the discussions, must be prepared, they must be ready to act very fast and – most important of all – they must start acting now, while the national ministries and negotiators have the time to listen.