Trade minister Takeo Hiranuma expressed dissatisfaction Tuesday with a fresh World Trade Organization proposal to be adopted at a Sept. 10-14 ministerial meeting.
The economy, trade and industry minister told a news conference that the draft of the proposal is “insufficient in terms of ambition” for an agreement on global trade liberalization.
WTO General Council Chairman Carlos Perez de Castillo on Sunday presented the draft on a range of trade issues to be discussed at the crucial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, including the liberalization of both agricultural and nonagricultural products.
“The draft does not specify the necessity of flexibility in a limited area to all member nations,” Hiranuma said, referring to nonagricultural products.
His remarks are taken to mean that the proposal fails to reflect Japan’s demand that certain sensitive nonagricultural products, including marine products, be taken into account in reducing tariffs.
Hiranuma said he will try to ensure that Japan’s claims are reflected in the draft and will seek agreements at the Cancun meeting.
At a separate news conference, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said some parts of the draft fail to reflect Japan’s position.
“We want to discuss the matter at meetings in Geneva as well as at the Cancun meeting, so that our country’s position will be clearly reflected,” she said.
Negotiations for the current Doha Round of global trade talks, launched in November 2001, have been bogged down mainly due to differences between various nations over how to liberalize farm trade.
The Cancun meeting is seen as key to the successful conclusion of the Doha Round by the deadline of Jan. 1, 2005.