World Trade Organization Negotiations: The Doha Development Agenda [Updated August 6, 2004] [open pdf - 88KB]
"There are three issues that are among the most important to developing countries, in addition to concessions on agriculture and textile/clothing trade. One issue pertains to compulsory licensing of medicines and patent protection. A second deals with a review of provisions giving special and differential treatment to developing countries. A third addresses problems that developing countries are having in implementing current trade obligations. In other areas, negotiators are meeting to clarify and improve disciplines under the antidumping and subsidies agreements. These talks on trade remedies are being observed closely by some Members of Congress, who did not want the issue on the agenda at all. Other discussions in the WTO [World Trade Organization] are addressing the so-called 'Singapore issues' -- government procurement, trade facilitation (customs issues), investment and competition. The fifth Ministerial Conference was held September 10-14, 2003 in Cancun, Mexico. The Ministerial in Cancun was to '...take stock of progress in the negotiations, provide any necessary political guidance, and take decisions as necessary.' The meeting, however, ended unsuccessfully. In February 2004, WTO members approved new chairpersons for the WTO bodies and working groups, and resumed negotiations in March 2004. On July 31, 2004, WTO members approved a framework to guide remaining negotiations. The July 31 framework included important terms on agriculture. Work is expected to slow down through the rest of 2004 because of leadership changes in the European Union and the U.S. elections. WTO members did not set a new deadline for the negotiations, but they did decide that the next Ministerial Conference will be in Hong Kong in December 2005."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32060
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/