The Doha Agenda offers chance to revitalize and strengthen global trading system
Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council today submitted to the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), its position and recommendations for the Doha Development Agenda (the Doha Agenda) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations. The recommendations include a ten-point vision for the Doha Agenda. The NFTC would be discussing its positions today at the start of a three-day WTO public symposium on the Doha Agenda.
“The WTO is at a critical juncture and turning point,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the NFTC. “The U.S. and other WTO Members need to boldly address two systematic challenges facing the global trading system in the Doha Agenda – the proliferation of bilateral and regional trading agreements and the rapid pace of globalization. Failure to embrace a bold vision could place the WTO at risk of becoming irrelevant as a force for trade liberalization.”
The NFTC’s broad recommendations to the USTR for the Doha Agenda include:
• Progressively eliminate tariffs on industrial goods by 2020;
• Eliminate or minimize agriculture tariffs and eliminate trade distorting agricultural subsidies and supports by a date certain;
• Achieve broad services market liberalization covering all sectors and include new sectors such as energy services;
• Pursue measures to eliminate existing and prevent new non-tariff barriers to trade;
• Eliminate tariffs on the products of least developed economies before 2005;
• Provide focused and meaningful technical assistance to developing economies;
• Achieve greater differentiation among economies for special and differential treatment;
• Adopt effective rules on trade facilitation and transparency in government procurement;
• Reform WTO rules on antidumping and subsidies and countervailing duty measures;
• Implement agreed WTO commitments and improve WTO dispute settlement rules.
“We can’t afford to waste time – it is crucial that the Doha Agenda is completed in three years, and that it achieve meaningful trade liberalization across all sectors.” said Reinsch.
The NFTC position paper is available at www.nftc.org.