SSM: For A Balanced, Development-Centred And Credible MC10 Outcome In Nairobi

SUBMISSION BY THE G-33

The following communication submitted by Indonesia, dated 16 October 2015, is being circulated for consideration by Members.

  1. This submission seeks to facilitate agreement on the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) building on the 'July Framework', Hong Kong Declaration, as well as on the progress reached thus far including under the draft agriculture modalities contained in TN/AG/W/4/Rev.4 and TN/AG/W/7 of 2008.
  2. This submission also seeks to demonstrate genuine desire for a balanced outcome in Nairobi for all WTO Members by responding positively and constructively to Members' reasonable concerns and expectations on the SSM, even though some, if not all, of these concerns might have been overestimated, if not been theoretical, given the limited and moderate use of a similar trade remedy tool, i.e. the Special Agricultural Safeguard (SSG) by developing Members.
  3. While presenting this submission to facilitate engagement on the SSM, the Group also reiterates the importance of Special Products and Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes since these are likewise critical elements for ensuring the development aspect of the DDA.
  4. The G-33 maintains that its proposal on SSM contained in JOB/AG/29 of July 2014 (see Annex on page 3) is already balanced. However, in the spirit of constructive engagement the Group is ready to explore the following principles with interested Members:
    1. Special dispensation: Establishing a consultation mechanism with a view to exempt exports of LDCs and SVEs from SSM application.
    2. Product coverage: Limiting the number of products that have access to the SSM in any given 12-month period. However, these products shall be self-designated.
    3. Remedies breaching pre-Doha Bindings: An approach similar to the SSG can be explored.
    4. Application and duration of volume SSM: Limiting the application and duration of SSM including through possible 'SSM holiday/break' after consecutive applications subject to certain conditions.
  5. The G-33 is open to discuss other reasonable concerns of Members. However, Members must aim for an agreement on the SSM that would be meaningful for and attuned and responsive to the needs of developing Members in arresting import surges and price depressions.
  6. There is no substitute to an accessible and effective SSM. SSM is necessary to effectively address destabilizing import surges and price depressions caused largely by unbridled subsidization and other distortions. SSM is all the more necessary as Members further delay reforms needed to make a serious dent on, if not totally eliminate, trade-distorting subsidies to production and exports that are unduly penalising developing Members.
  7. With the proposed four elements above for compromise, WTO Members are strongly urged to reciprocate constructive engagement and provide solution-finding contributions immediately, with a view to having a development-centred, balanced, and credible outcome in Nairobi.

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