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2008年8月 1日 (金)

WTO交渉決裂

(Jul. 31, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan must face need for agricultural reform

WTO交渉決裂 農政改革の緩みは許されぬ(731日付・読売社説)

The latest breakdown in talks under the World Trade Organization should not be allowed to end efforts to promote free trade.

貿易の自由化を進める試みを、このまま終わらせてはならない。

On Tuesday, ministerial talks in the WTO's Doha Round of free trade talks in Geneva collapsed despite a historic deal being within sight at one point.

ジュネーブで開かれていた世界貿易機関(WTO)の貿易交渉(ドーハ・ラウンド)の閣僚会合が、合意寸前で決裂した。

The seven-year-old Doha Round was aiming to reach a final agreement within the year. These hopes now look all but dashed, with some predicting discussions will be frozen for an extended period with a new U.S. administration set to take charge following the presidential election in November.

新ラウンドは、約7年の交渉を経て、年内の最終合意を目指していたが、これで絶望的になったとされる。来年の米国の政権交代を控え、長期の交渉凍結も避けられないとの見方も出ている。

dash=落胆した、失望した

The latest round of talks joined by 153 nations and territories was trying to reduce or remove tariffs on agricultural and industrial products in an effort to boost the global economy.

 153か国・地域が参加する新ラウンドは、農産品や鉱工業品などの関税を削減し、世界経済を活性化させることが目的だ。

Failure to reach an accord means a loss of great advantages for WTO members. The WTO and its members must therefore work out ways of ensuring a breakthrough as soon as possible.

合意できなければ、失う利益は大きい。早期に事態を打開すべきだ。

The ministerial talks almost reached agreement on a set of compromise proposals presented by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy.

閣僚会合は、ラミーWTO事務局長が示した調停案でまとまりかけていた。

However, the United States failed to persuade China and India to compromise over conditions for invoking safeguards, or emergency import restrictions, on agricultural products. The two emerging economic powerhouses have demanded a loosening of such conditions under the so-called special safeguard mechanism.

ところが、農産品の緊急輸入制限措置の発動要件を巡り、緩和を求めるインドと中国を米国が説得できず、行き詰まった。

invoke=誘い出す、引き起こす

===

Japan fails to make presence felt

(日本は存在感を喪失)

The failure of the talks also has highlighted the increasing clout of rapidly growing powers such as India and China, as well as the declining influence of the United States and Europe, who were supposed to be leading negotiations.

経済成長が著しいインドと中国の発言力増大と、交渉を主導する米欧の弱体化を示すものだ。

Japan, for its part, failed to make its presence felt at the WTO talks after resisting liberalization in the agricultural sector.

この中で、存在感を示せなかったのが、農業分野の市場開放に抵抗した日本だ。

In Lamy's compromise proposals, the percentage of key agricultural products treated as exceptions to cuts in tariffs imposed on high-tariff products would, in principle, be 4 percent of all farm products. In special cases, the rate could be allowed to increase to 6 percent.

ラミー事務局長の調停案は、日本のコメなどの高関税品の関税下げを例外扱いにする「重要品目」数を全農産品の原則4%、最大6%とした。

Japan's demand for setting the rate at 8 percent or higher was rejected.

With Japan pushing other WTO members to accept its claim that rice and other products are "sensitive," other countries were expected in turn to argue for major cuts in tariffs on many other agricultural products.

日本が重要品目としてコメなどを優先すれば、それから外れる多くの農産品は、関税の大幅引き下げを求められる見通しだった。

「8%以上」という日本の主張は退けられた。

Some observers have breathed a sigh of relief, saying the collapse of the talks meant this kind of crisis has been averted. However, we believe the collapse should be regarded as a temporary reprieve.

交渉決裂で、その危機を回避できたと安堵する声もある。だが、ひとまず猶予が与えられたに過ぎないと考えるべきだろう。

avert=回避する

reprieve=計執行の猶予、処刑延期

===

Pressure for change to intensify

(農業構造改革が急務だ)

There will likely be no end to foreign pressure on Japan to open its agricultural markets, and the nation will therefore have to structurally reform its agriculture sector to increase productivity and make it internationally competitive.

日本の農業に対する市場開放圧力は今後も止まらない。農業の生産性を向上させ、競争力をつける構造改革が急務だ。

Meanwhile, Japan's export-oriented firms were dealt a heavy blow with the failure to reach a deal that would have seen cuts in tariffs imposed by developing countries on industrial products such as automobiles and household appliances.

一方、交渉が合意すれば、自動車や家電など工業製品への途上国の関税が引き下げられたはずだ。日本の輸出企業には痛手だ。

At the global level, it is expected that the WTO's central role in international trade negotiations will be diminished further, with efforts toward more bilateral and regional economic partnership agreements correspondingly set to intensify.

世界では、WTOの求心力が低下し、2国間や地域間の経済連携協定(EPA)を推進する動きが一段と加速するとみられる。

In terms of trade policy, Japan should therefore place priority on both the WTO and economic partnership agreements.

As things stand, Japan has concluded or signed EPAs with only eight nations--such as Singapore--and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, while negotiations with agriculture giant Australia and other countries are facing difficulties. Once again, the sticking point in such negotiations is the issue of liberalizing Japan's agriculture market.

日本が通商政策で重視すべきはWTOとEPAだが、EPAは、シンガポールなど9か国・地域との合意にとどまる。農業大国・豪州などとの交渉は難航中だ。

If the government wants to bolster Japan's EPA policy, it will have to accept agricultural reform as an inevitable task.

ここでも、農産品の市場開放問題がネックになっている。EPAを加速するためにも、農政改革は避けて通れない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2008)

20087310150  読売新聞)

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