For Round to be Successful, Politics Must Catch Up with Economics
Washington, DC – Today, NFTC Vice President Mary Irace issued the following statement on the Doha Round negotiations:
“The NFTC is very concerned about calls for lower ambition by Director General Lamy and the continued lack of political leadership by key WTO Members.
“Now is the time to keep our focus on what is at stake in the Doha Round – the future relevance and credibility of the WTO as a force for multilateral trade liberalization and improved trade governance, and the deeper integration of developing countries into the global trading system.
“The politics have not caught up with the realities of our increasingly globalized economy. One thing is clear in today’s global marketplace — countries that want to grow and move up the ladder of development must remove barriers to trade and investment and put in place sound and transparent rules to govern global economic engagement. This is why so many developing countries are interested in negotiating high standard and comprehensive free trade agreements with the United States. Comparing the state of play in the Doha Round to the Uruguay Round, as some have recently done, is a false comparison because the global economy is dramatically different. We should look forward not backwards and set our sights high.
“The NFTC has been a major and active supporter of the WTO and a successful Doha Round. We continue to support an ambitious outcome across all core areas – agriculture, goods and services. At the end of the day, the true test for the NFTC and its members will be substantial new market access. All countries have a stake in this and not just on agriculture, which represents only 8.8% of world trade. For example, 40% of trade in goods is among developing countries and these countries pay the most of their tariffs — 70% — to each other. On services, the NFTC is about to release a paper which will show that over 50 developing countries export $1 billion in services each year, and four of the top ten services exporters are developing countries.
“In key respects, the ultimate fate of the Round will depend on the ability of advanced developing countries to step up to the plate and lead. These countries can and must be a catalyst for success. Based on NFTC analyses of its member companies’ top exports into advanced developing countries, a 20% coefficient will not achieve substantial new market access and we would not support such an outcome. It may be time to consider a third coefficient of 15% for advanced developing countries and a slightly higher coefficient for less advanced countries. The NAMA outcome on “flexibilities” and a robust sectoral and non-tariff barrier package will also be critical to a successful Doha Round.”
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.