12Despite these inadequacies and after several days and nights of exciting meetings, ministers finally signed their first multilateral trade agreement since the creation of the WTO. The final agreement begins with a tripartite ministerial declaration recognizing Yemen`s accession and stopping the ten texts on the three pillars of the Bali package: trade facilitation, some agricultural issues and some development-oriented provisions (WTO, 2013a). It also contains a number of decisions submitted by the General Council in areas such as e-commerce and TRIPS requests for non-counterfeiting and the situation, as well as other permanent points on WTO ministers. Measures such as pre-feeding information (Article 7.1 TFA), inspections (Article 7.5), licensed economic operators (7.7), risk management (7.4) and much more, not only reduce the need for physical inspections, but also increase the likelihood of catching bad guys. The more we are concerned about the protection and collection of revenues, the more we should be concerned about the ratification and implementation of the trade facilitation agreement. 43 Moreover, the context that already prevailed in 2003 for cotton has changed radically (Bahalim and Gruere, 2013). Prices have risen significantly, reducing pressure from the EU and the US to make farm payments. As a result, subsidies in the United States have declined from historical highs and are expected to be lower as a result of the new U.S. Agriculture Act. Higher prices for alternative crops such as maize and wheat, as well as lower yields and higher cotton production costs have also encouraged U.S. farmers to move away from cotton production. Globally, trade patterns have changed and new players have emerged. India has moved from a net importer to the second largest exporter of cotton.
China is now the world`s largest producer, importer and consumer of cotton. While all of these factors have helped to reduce the pressure of subsidies on African cotton-producing countries, they have also alleviated the political challenge of trade-distorting payment reform. With fiscal pressure in the United States and elsewhere, they indicate that the time for cotton reform has never been longer. Bureaucratic delays and « bureaucracy » weigh on traders for cross-border trade. Trade facilitation – the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes – has therefore become an important issue for the global trading system. 21In international financial assistance, donor commitments to simplify and modernize border regulations and procedures exceeded $460 million in 2012, a significant increase from the 2002-20125 average of $27 million. As shown in Figure 1, most of the funds committed went to Africa. However, the region has considerable differences between commitments and actual payments of aid to trade. A similar pattern is observed when LDCs are considered as a group, but these differences are not reflected in other parts of the world.
This gap may reflect the fact that a number of donors have failed to meet their aid commitments – a long-standing complaint by several developing countries that have refused to accept costly new commitments or arrangements because their development partners do not have strong guarantees that technical assistance and capacity building will be available.