Draft Paper – Not to be cited without author’s permission
members ponder the future, the U.S. will not wait: we will move towards free trade with can-do countries.”57 Thus in the immediate aftermath of Cancún, both the US and the EU signed a number of bilateral and regional agreements with more “pliable” governments (i.e. the CAFTA with Central America) in lieu of progress in the WTO or the FTAA.
2004—A July breakthrough for the WTO?
Then, in July of 2004, the WTO member nations took up negotiations again on a “framework” for talks leading up to the expected 6th Ministerial to be held in 2005. The “July framework,” which was actually announced in August, was widely hailed as a breakthrough, as the South agreed to re-start negotiations on agriculture and other issues in exchange for promise by the US and the EU to cut some of their subsidies. However, many observers question the extent to which any real progress toward changing the most damaging features of the current system was made, despite the hype (see main text for more details).