TWN Info Service on WTO
and Trade Issues (June08/21)
Some movement on Mercosur request saves NAMA talks
Geneva, 24 Jun (Martin Khor) -- Informal talks among 12 countries (dubbed the G12) on non agricultural market access (NAMA) organized by the United States continued on Sunday and Monday, with some progress on discussion of the request by Mercosur countries to have an extra flexibility for members of customs unions in relation to applying tariff cuts under the Swiss formula.
The discussions have been on the methodology in calculating the number or percent of tariff lines affected by the extra flexibility that have been insisted on by Brazil, Argentina and other members of Mercosur.
In the draft NAMA text, a developing country affected by the Swiss formula can allocate  per cent of its NAMA tariff lines to be subjected to half of the full tariff cuts dictated by the formula, but this must be restricted to 10% of the total value of the country's NAMA imports. As an alternative, the country can exclude  per cent of its NAMA tariff lines from any cut, but this also has to be restricted to 5% of the total value of imports.
By excluding intra-customs union trade from the calculation of the total value of trade, the Mercosur countries would be able to get flexible treatment for additional tariff lines.
strong opposition from major developed countries to the Mercosur proposal
almost led to the collapse of the G12 talks, with
to whom he was speaking took him to mean that
undertaken by the WTO Secretariat based on data on the external trade
Ambassador Don Stephenson