WTO fisheries talks suspended due to COVID preoccupations: document



Emma Farge | Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) – World Trade Organization negotiations aimed at cutting billions of dollars in subsidies that contribute to overfishing have been suspended due to opposition from some countries that are too preoccupied with COVID-19, an internal document showed.

In an email to WTO delegates, chair Santiago Wills said some members were “unable to engage in negotiation discussions due to their need to combat COVID-19 pandemic domestically” as well as movement restrictions.

“It is fair to say that the Group as a whole is not ready to fully engage while still facing these struggles,” the email sent on May 7 said. Wills declined to comment.

It was not clear exactly which countries objected although a trade official said the African, Caribbean and Pacific States Group had raised doubts.

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