Archive for the ‘NAMA’ Category

After a long silence in the WTO headquarters, the draft text of the modalities for Non-agricultural Market Access (NAMA) and Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) are out. Here are the two in .pdf file format:

Draft Modalities for Agriculture
Draft NAMA Modalities

UPDATE: FairTrade Senior Researcher Errol Ramos has an initial observations and reactions to the draft NAMA modalities.

Based on his summary, the salient features of the new NAMA draft are:

For bound tariffs, the Swiss formula is adopted with 2 coefficients (1 for developed and one for developing). Specifically: (1) Between 8-9 for developed; and (2) Between 19-23 for developing.

For unbound tariffs, a 20 percent mark-up will be adopted.

The flexibilities under the para 8 of the NAMA Framework are:

(1) For bound tariffs, 10 percent of the NAMA lines will have lesser cuts. (2) For unbound tariffs, 5 percent of the NAMA lines will be kept unbound.

The new NAMA draft also speaks of having no consensus or little development at all on the:

1. Definition of what full reciprocity is,
2. Sectoral initiatives
3. Other issues like non-tariff barriers, conversion to ad valorem equivalents
4. NAMA environmental goods.
5. Balance of ambition between NAMA and AoA.

His reactions to the draft NAMA text, after the jump:

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By Angelo S. Samonte
Published on the February 24, 2007 issue of the Manila Times

Fair Trade Alliance, a broad coalition of NGOs from the agriculture and industrial manufacturing sector, said it does not believe that the breakthrough announced by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy is achievable within months.

Wigberto Tañada, the lead convener of FTA, said Lamy did not mention any timetable when the United States would slash subsidies for its agriculture sector.

Tañada said: “We don’t believe in his pronouncements because those are too vague. We want specific concessions from the developed countries, particularly from the US, by cutting huge farm support. He didn’t explain how big the cuts would be. Would it be on staggered basis? When will be the final elimination?”

In a separate statement, FTA reiterates its position in the ongoing Nonagricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiations, particularly 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, because 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 percent,” it said.

“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.

The FTA also supports the inclusion of sensitive products in the exclusion list, saying that the proposed minimum of 10 percent of total tariff lines will be good for the Philippines: “The FTA firmly stands 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.”

Reacting to Lamy’s visit to the Philippines, the Tambuyog Development Center, an NGO for fishery sector development said the WTO must reconsider the positions of developing countries by focusing negotiations to export distorting support instead of market access.

Tambuyog said talks should also include subsidies being given to industries in more developed countries rather than tackling market access issues that only favor industrialized countries.

Besides these issues, Tambuyog said the global trade body must recognize the need for protection of less developed countries, particularly their sensitive sectors through the use of special products (SP) and special safeguard mechanism (SSM).

would be detrimental for our industries that remain weak that’s why we should seek more protection,” Tañada said.

THE multisectoral Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) urges the government to push for a coefficient higher than 90 in the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiations.

With the adoption of the Swiss formula in the last WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, the coefficient remains the only element open for the Philippines to preserve its policy space or flexibility in the ongoing negotiations in Geneva, FTA said.

Furthermore, if the choice of coefficient is less than 90 the Philippines will stand to lose so much flexibility on how to promote certain strategic industries needed for long-term development and how to protect its sensitive fishery sector, which affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolks and their families.

According to FTA, with a coefficient of 30, the Philippines’ bound tariffs will be drastically reduced from 23% to 13%, thus reducing its policy space from 19% to 9% and will lock-in the country’s industrial tariffs including fisheries to a low-tariff regime. Unless higher coefficients in levels above 90 are negotiated in Geneva, the choice of the Swiss formula poses serious error and locks-in the rates set under the unilateral tariff reduction programs for the Philippines over the past decade.

THE multisectoral Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) urges the government to push for a coefficient higher than 90 in the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiations.

With the adoption of the Swiss formula in the last WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, the coefficient remains the only element open for the Philippines to preserve its policy space or flexibility in the ongoing negotiations in Geneva, FTA said.

Furthermore, if the choice of coefficient is less than 90 the Philippines will stand to lose so much flexibility on how to promote certain strategic industries needed for long-term development and how to protect its sensitive fishery sector, which affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolks and their families.

According to FTA, with a coefficient of 30, the Philippines’ bound tariffs will be drastically reduced from 23% to 13%, thus reducing its policy space from 19% to 9% and will lock-in the country’s industrial tariffs including fisheries to a low-tariff regime. Unless higher coefficients in levels above 90 are negotiated in Geneva, the choice of the Swiss formula poses serious error and locks-in the rates set under the unilateral tariff reduction programs for the Philippines over the past decade.




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