Stakeholders Position on the NAMA Negotiations

The stakeholders of the various industries concerned represented by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Philippine Industries, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Fair Trade Alliance and Alyansa Agrikultura (representing fisheries’ interest) strongly propose the following position for government negotiators to adopt in the process of formalizing the Philippine position for the ongoing Non Agricultural Market Access negotiations in Geneva.

In determining the coefficient for the adoption of the Swiss Formula* for the tariff cuts, we propose a target of 50 percentage points or minimum of 35. Having gone over various simulations prepared by the Tariff Commission and Board of Investments, we believe that targeting a coefficient of 50 will maximize the current policy space of NAMA tariff lines whose average bound rates is pegged at 23%.

We also propose the adoption of a mark-up of 50 or a minimum of 35, to provide flexibilities for the treatment of unbound tariff lines, considered to be sensitive and instrumental to economic development.

With respect to Paragraph 8(b) inclusion of sensitive products in the exclusion list, we propose a minimum of 10% of total tariff lines**.

Furthermore, we propose that our negotiators take the stand of operationalizing the modality to credit autonomous liberalization for developing countries like the Philippines by adopting an adjustment factor*** of 1.5 in the coefficient.

Overall, we firmly stand for the preservation of the current policy space and work towards the development of a roadmap for industrial policy harmonization and upgrading that will make our industries more globally competitive.

Explanatory notes:

* – assuming a simple Swiss formula with dual coefficients (a low number of around 6 for developed countries, and a high coefficient of around 50 for developing countries. The minimum acceptable level of coefficient for developing countries given the other elements of the modalities is 35.
** – in determining the base percentage of tariff lines applicable to Par 8(b), the reference should be a minimum of 10% of total national tariff lines and not just 10% of total NAMA tariff lines.
*** – whatever the universal coefficient for developing countries that will be agreed upon, credit for autonomous liberalization should be operationalized by multiplying that coefficient with 1.5. Thus, should agreement be reached on a coefficient of, say, 35 for developing countries, those developing countries who undertook autonomous liberalization and qualifying under certain parameters (see separate paper), should have a coefficient of 52.5 (from 35 x 1.5). The adjustment factor translates to 150% of the regular coefficient for developing countries.

Position Paper submitted by Fair Trade Alliance (FTA), Alyansa Agrikultura, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) to Secretary Peter Favila, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), April 21, 2006 during the Joint Consultative Committee on NAMA meeting and Mr. Jose Antonio Buencamino, Special Trade Representative, Philippine Mission to the World Trade Organization, June 6, 2006 during the public forum on NAMA at the DTI


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