Author: Youngjeen Cho
This paper explores the concept of developing countries in the context of the WTO DDA fisheries subsidies negotiations. It raises a question whether the concept of developing countries that is widely used in other WTO agreement should be applicable to the new disciplines on fisheries subsidies. In order to address the question, this paper outlines the history of the DDA fisheries subsidies negotiations and discusses the goal of fisheries subsidies negotiations. Then, it presents the concept of developing countries in the GATT, the WTO and other international institutions, and finds that it is almost exclusively based on economic indicators. Then, it reviews global fish production and the amount of global fisheries subsidies. On the basis of its analysis, this paper finds that, in order to achieve the proposed goal of the new disciplines on fisheries subsidies, and to strike a balance between the environmental and the developmental dimensions of fisheries subsidies, the concept of “developing countries” in the context of fisheries subsidies should be different from that in other WTO agreements. It should not include countries that have leading fishing industry for which the governments provide large amount of subsidies, in particular, fishing capacity-enhancing subsidies.
See also: Comments to Paper