Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Apr08/06)
Geneva, 15 Apr (Martin Khor) -- The final meeting of the NAMA negotiating group before the issuing of a new modalities draft was held at the WTO on Monday, with the Chair of the group stating that differences in positions were the same as before, and that the negotiations desperately need a meeting of senior officials "as we are not near to a close yet."
open-ended informal meeting on NAMA was held for the Chair, Ambassador
Don Stephenson of
new papers were also presented, including by
China presented its views in greater detail on the special treatment that should be provided for recently acceded members (RAMs), including a longer grace period (3 to 5 years) than had been proposed by the Chair, and lower than the usual rates of tariff reduction.
developed countries, especially the
proposal by Mercosur for more flexibilities in relation to the tariff
reduction formula for members of the regional grouping (
Stephenson said "we need a revised text soon", but did not reveal when he will issue the new draft. The meeting, he said, did not help (in bridging the gaps between countries), and "we are where we were."
He concluded: "If you want an outcome it is within your reach. If you don't want an outcome, there's not much I can do for you."
(A more detailed report on this meeting will be in the next issue of SUNS). +