Info Service on Trade and WTO Issues (July08/30)
Clash on NAMA on the cards as NAMA-11 attacks text
Geneva, 22 July (Martin Khor) -- Ministers of key NAMA-11 countries have strongly criticized the latest text on non-agricultural market access (NAMA) during the open informal Trade Negotiations Committee meeting at the WTO, taking place in parallel to the negotiations in the exclusive Green Room meetings.
At the same time, the Venezuelan Minister attacked the NAMA text for giving "small vulnerable economy status" to major developing countries which only have to cut their tariffs by less than 30% whereas developing countries' reductions were 40 to 60 per cent.
charge that the NAMA text is imbalanced and has to be corrected was
also made by Ministers of Brazil and
NAMA-11 Ministers' positions are in contradiction to the demands made
by Trade Ministers of the
A major clash in the Green Room between the NAMA-11 countries and the major developed countries is thus to be expected.
outcomes in agriculture with changes in rules and that allow developing
countries to realize their comparative advantage is the essential measure
of the developmental content of the Round, said
There is no indication that South Africa farmers will obtain any new market access into developed countries' agricultural markets and also that there will be no real cuts in their overall trade distorting domestic support.
cannot accept proposals that reverse the principle of less than full
reciprocity for developing countries," said
an adequate level of flexibilities,
Noting that South Africa is asked to make cuts in applied tariffs in 60% of tariff lines and at rates of 25% in sensitive sectors, the Minister said anything short of a significant expansion of flexibilities and an appropriate increase in coefficient will be politically, economically and socially very difficult to justify in a country with 23-26% unemployment. "At outcome cannot be at the expense of our industrial development prospects or at the expense of deepening unemployment and poverty."
added that the NAMA draft is "not fit for this horizontal process"
since the Chair did not factor in the views of developing countries.
If the principles and mandates of the Round are not respected, the process
would be meaningless. It stressed the principle of less than full reciprocity
in reduction commitments, and para 24 of the
the Ministers of the NAMA-11 met on 20 July in
The Ministers reaffirmed the NAMA-11 position that the spread of coefficients between developed and developing countries needs to be made consistent with the mandate and the principle of less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments.
They regretted that the proposal continues to ignore the positions of the NAMA-11 on the issue of the ranges, and pays no attention to the needs of an important group of developing countries.
They said the proposal on the coefficients will "need to be the subject of further negotiations as it imposes onerous and disproportionate obligations on those developing countries that will be required to undertake formula cuts."
They rejected any attempt to further constrain the already limited flexibilities provided in the modalities text, particularly the very recent anti-concentration proposals.
"Ministers reiterated that an adequate level of flexibilities is an essential element of the final package. Ministers reiterated that sectoral negotiations should remain voluntary and that there could be no linkage between sectoral negotiations and the coefficients and flexibilities.
"Ministers reaffirmed the centrality of agriculture in the DDA, and reiterated that Paragraph 24 of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration requires that there shall be a comparable level of ambition between Agriculture and NAMA.
observed the progress in several other important areas, including the
mark-up for unbound tariffs, implementation periods, and non-tariff
barriers. The Ministers urged that an equitable outcome be achieved
that takes into account the particular development situation of