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NFTC Commends WTO Chairmen for Issuing Texts on NAMA and Agriculture
Date: 7/17/2007
Written By: Eric Thomas or Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Expresses Disappointment with Developing Country Coefficient in NAMA Text

Washington, DC -­ The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today released the following statement, applauding the WTO negotiating chairmen for issuing texts on NAMA and agriculture, and expressing disappointment with the developing country coefficient included in the NAMA text.

"The Chairmen of the NAMA and agriculture negotiations are to be commended for issuing detailed texts. Given the diversity of views among 150 members, this is no simple or easy task. It is an important step forward," said Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President of Trade & Export Finance.

"The NFTC is in the process of carefully reviewing the texts. After six years of negotiation, our primary goal remains the same – to achieve real new market access and liberalization of trade in goods, services and agriculture. This objective, along with improved and more transparent rules, should be shared by all WTO members because it will create global economic growth, promote sustainable development in developing countries, and help alleviate poverty," Irace continued. "A high level of ambition will create the win-win outcomes necessary to overcome protectionist political interests opposed to market opening."

"While today's developments are a sign of progress, we are disappointed with the suggested range of 19-23 percent for the developing country NAMA coefficient, compared to the 8-9 percent range suggested for developed countries," Irace stated. "A range of 15-19 percent would be more in line with an outcome that leads to new trade flows and real new market access, particularly when you take into account the substantial flexibilities which will be provided to developing countries. In the coming days, the NFTC will examine more closely the actual impact of the suggested coefficients on a range of core products in key developing country markets."

Irace continued, "The NFTC is pleased that the NAMA text includes a process for addressing sectorals and non-tariff barriers to trade, which are critical elements of the NAMA negotiations. On agriculture, the NFTC continues to seek a result that leads to fundamental reform and opening of agriculture markets. The services pillar of the Doha Round is also a core component of the negotiations and we urge similar meaningful market access results. Such results could have an enormous positive economic impact on developing countries."

 


 

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The National Foreign Trade Council (
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