Original Press Release
NAM Says Ministerial Meeting on WTO Must Await Consensus on Sectoral Agreements
Press release date: December 8, 2008
Brazil, China and India Need to Join in Sector Agreements, says Engler
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2008 - Reacting to the new Doha Round Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiating text released overt he weekend, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and Chief Executive Officer John Engler issued the following statement:
The just-released new text shows that the gaps in the industrial trade negotiations have not been closed, and the NAM does not view the text as a basis for agreement. The new text does not show that countries have moved in the direction of greater ambition, and considerably more work is needed.
We agree with NAMA Chairman Luzius Wasescha's assessment that, "We are far from a consensus among Members."
The NAM has been consistent in its view that Brazil, China, and India must participate in major sectoral agreements to eliminate tariffs in sectors such as industrial machinery, chemicals, and electrical/electronics. Unfortunately, the latest text shows they are not yet willing to do this.
Robust participation in sectoral agreements is the key to a successful NAMA agreement, and failure to achieve such participation is a deal breaker from the perspective of the NAM. The tariff-cutting formulas currently proposed for manufactured goods are too weak to generate new market access and trade flows, making strong sectoral agreements the only option for sufficient trade liberalization in industrial goods.
The new text also shows substantial other disagreements in the industrial goods negotiations, including a weakening of the guidelines for the conduct of sectoral agreements. The negotiations need to continue until the necessary consensus for ambition and balance can be reached. We do not believe a ministerial meeting should be called until it is clear that a greater consensus exists than is now the case.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.