WTO’s Pascal Lamy Talks to U.S. Manufacturers

By November 1, 2008Trade

From Reuters, “WTO’s Lamy presses US manufacturers on Doha deal“:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy urged U.S. manufacturers demanding deeper tariff cuts in world trade talks on Friday to consider the billions of dollars of savings that would come from proposals already on the table.

“We understand how important it is to have U.S. companies favorably disposed to the Doha round, and the director general made his case,” Keith Rockwell, a spokesman for the Geneva-based World Trade Organization, told Reuters.

Reuters’ diligent Doug Palmer reports that Lamy met with the NAM, making the case that the tariff concessions already on the table are substantial — the equivalent of an annual tax cut of $7 billion to $8 billion on U.s. exports. The NAM’s Frank Vargo outlined manufacturers’ objections, according to Reuters:

In too many cases, U.S. exporters would get no new market access because the bound tariff cuts are not deep enough to affect the applied tariff, said Frank Vargo, vice president at the National Association of Manufacturers.

“The new market access we get from the formula is inadequate. It’s got to be bolstered by good participation in sectorals,” Vargo said, even after Lamy presented figures showing 86 percent of India’s applied tariffs would be cut by an average of 14 percent under the proposed formula.

For more on the NAM’s position on the Doha round, please see Vargo’s commentary from the last round of WTO negotiations in Geneva — and the NAM’s position papers on the WTO negotiations.

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