Calls for Real Leadership in the Doha Round by Advanced Developing Countries
Washington, D.C. – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today released the following statement, expressing strong disappointment with the NAMA 11 paper and calling on advanced developing countries to exhibit leadership in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations.
“The NFTC is very disappointed that several developing countries tabled yesterday a paper that focuses more on what advanced developing countries can’t do on industrial goods market opening in the Doha Round, instead of what they can do,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “With major positive signs of progress in the Doha negotiations over the past several weeks, including a clear commitment by the United States to work with the suggested range of domestic support cuts in the
Chairman’s text on agricultural, this paper goes in the opposite direction.”
“Now is the time to work towards a meaningful consensus in the Doha negotiations based on the recent texts tabled by the Chairs of the Agriculture and NAMA negotiating groups, and also by achieving similar progress on services,” said Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President for Trade and Export Finance. “Absent political will on all sides to liberalize trade, the negotiations will not conclude successfully. Calling for yet more flexibility and exceptions for major trading countries at this stage is unhelpful.”
“The Chairman’s text on NAMA has plenty of flexibility built in for developing countries and more than amply provides for less-than-full reciprocity. It is worth noting in this regard that the least developed countries are exempt from any commitments,” stated Irace.
“At the end of the day, if we can’t achieve a consensus on the tariff cutting modalities provided in the text, it’s hard to see how these negotiations are going to conclude. Frankly, even under the most ambitious coefficient in the text for advanced developing countries, many applied tariff rates would be left untouched in those countries. The U.S. business community had, in fact, urged for much more ambition than what is in the Chairman’s text.”
Irace concluded, “Time is running short. It would be a serious failure in political leadership if WTO members were unable to seize the very real opportunity before us to conclude the Doha Round in a balanced and ambitious manner. The outlines of a solid agreement are there, much work has been accomplished, and now is the time to stand up and be counted by getting the job done. It is a goal worth fighting for because a successful conclusion will generate economic growth and development worldwide and strengthen the foundation of the global trading system.”
Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.