Original Press Release
NAM Says Sectoral Agreements Can Rescue DOHA Round
Press release date: November 4, 2008
"The WTO is About Opening Markets, Not Keeping Them Closed," Vargo Says Washington, DC, November 4, 2008 - The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today said sectoral agreements are the only way to achieve a World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round agreement that would provide significant new market access. The NAM rejects the stance on sectorals taken by the "NAMA-11" Group of Nations in their October 31 Communication at the WTO. NAMA-11 is a group of developing counties.
"Seven years into the Doha Round, it is time for major trading nations - especially the advanced developing nations that have profited so much from the global trading system - to recognize that the WTO is about opening markets, not keeping them closed," said NAM International Economic Affairs Vice President Frank Vargo.
"Over the past seven years, each new WTO manufactured goods negotiating document has lowered expectations and lowered prospects for new market access," said Vargo. "The tariff-cutting formulas on the table for the advanced developing countries have reached the point at which they are so weak as to provide hardly any new export prospects for American manufacturers - or anyone else, for that matter."
"But at the same time, the tariff formula that would apply to the United States would have us cut our remaining tariffs in half - meaning the playing field would be tilted against us even further," he said. "That is why it is essential the weak tariff formulas be accompanied by robust sector-specific agreements eliminating tariffs in major areas such as industrial machinery, electrical/electronics, chemicals, environmental goods, and the like."
"Sure, participation in these sectoral deals is voluntary, and nobody is expecting small or weak economies to sign up," he said. "But if major new industrial exporters like Brazil, China, and India don't join in key sectorals, there is just no way the Doha Round can work."
"Don't forget that manufactured goods are 60 percent of world trade compared to seven percent for agriculture, and if manufactured goods trade is not opened up in the Doha Round, the world won't get the new boost to trade that everyone - especially the least developed countries -- need for further growth and development," he concluded. 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 Web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy. CONTACTS:
DOUG GOUDIE (202) 637-3078
GREG WRIGHT (202) 637-3084