Original Press Release
NAM Dismayed By New WTO Industrial Trade Text
Press release date: August 14, 2008
"Not a basis for negotiation," Says Engler
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 14, 2008 - National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler today issued the following statement regarding the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) Chairman's report released August 14th:
The NAM is dismayed at the Chairman's report, which represents a further and unacceptable weakening of ambition in the Doha Round. Moreover, the report is a sharp departure from what was discussed at the July WTO Mini-ministerial in Geneva.
Rather than finding a way forward for the Doha Round, the Chairman's report diminishes the chances for any convergence of views. The report has no official standing, and the NAM has urged U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to make it clear the United States does not see the report as providing a basis for negotiations.
Industrial goods are nearly two-thirds of all world trade, and the NAM and its counterpart organizations abroad have made it plain that agreement is possible only if there is a balance in industrial negotiations. Given the weakness of the present across-the-board industrial tariff cutting proposal, balance is only possible if the key countries of Brazil, China and India were to participate in negotiating sectoral agreements that would eliminate duties in major industrial sectors.
The NAM was present for the July Geneva meetings, and agreed that Secretary-General Pascal Lamy's July 25th compromise text could provide the basis for a balanced negotiation - with the understanding that Brazil, China and India would agree to participate in negotiating industrial sector agreements. The sectoral proposals in Lamy's text have been completely revised unilaterally in the NAMA Chairman's report. His report undercuts the possibility for meaningful sectoral agreements, and hence the possibility for a balanced outcome to the negotiations.
The Chairman's report in essence reopens the July 25 Lamy compromise text and tilts it against the United States. Such an unbalanced reopening is not acceptable. If the text is to be revisited in some areas, then it should be revisited in others - including by restoring a robust tariff-cutting formula that would significantly reduce advanced developing country tariffs and shrink the scope of their unacceptably large loopholes.
The NAM wants the Doha Round to succeed - but the definition of success is substantial trade liberalization. The basis for moving ahead is not the August 14th NAMA Chairman's report, but rather the Director-General's July 25th text with Brazil, China and India agreeing to participate in sectoral negotiations.
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.