To Trade: Keeping Doha Discussions Going

By November 20, 2008Trade

Following the meeting on the G-20 nations last weekend in Washington, the National Association of Manufacturers and Business Europe have sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative and the European Commissioner for Trade urging renewed attention to Doha. The letter is available here as a .pdf file. Excerpt:

The G-20 summit participants should follow-up on their commitment expressed at the summit on November 15 by participating in major sectoral tariff negotiations. The G-20 nations represent well over half of global trade in those sectors, and a comprehensive agreement by all G-20 on sectorals would send a strong signal to the world that they are committed to economic growth and a rapid conclusion of the Doha Round.

In order for modalities to offer the promise of substantial market openings to the world, however, there will need to be additional reductions in tariff and non-tariff barriers by the advanced emerging countries like China, Brazil, and India. The current formula and flexibility proposals do not lead to enough market opening opportunities in many WTO members. However, broad participation in the sectoral agreements would reduce this gap as advanced emerging countries would take up their responsibilities and could not benefit as free-riders of a sectorals outcome.

As this handy USDA trade glossary explains, the term “modalities” in WTO negotiations refers  to the nuts and bolts—such as formulas or approaches for tariff reductions—that underpin each country’s final commitments.”

Reuters story, “EU-U.S. businesses: Doha needs sector breakthrough

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