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WTO Launches Consultations On Future Of Bali Decisions

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

24 October 2014


The World Trade Organization (WTO) on October 22, 2014, launched consultations on the future of the Bali decisions, to agree a way forward on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The TFA would create binding commitments across all WTO members to expedite the movement, release, and clearance of goods, improving cooperation among WTO members on customs matters. It is estimated that the agreement can cut trade costs by almost 14.5 percent for low-income countries, and by 10 percent for high-income countries.

Negotiations on the TFA broke down when India – with support from other nations – said in July that it would not ratify the agreement until progress is made by advanced nations on the Organization's food security program and other measures for developing states.

Announcing the launch of consultations, the Director-General of the WTO, Roberto Azevêdo, said: "We will continue to work to solve the current impasse, but we also need to establish how we can move forward." He said that he had heard from WTO members "a willingness to engage in this conversation, and to do all we can to find a way forward."

Reporting to the Trade Negotiations Committee on October 16, 2014, Azevêdo warned that the standoff "is having a paralyzing effect on our work across the board." He added that "continuation of the current paralysis would serve only to degrade the institution – particularly the negotiating function."

TAGS: South Africa | India | export duty | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | food | Bolivia | Uganda | import duty | trade | Cuba | Tanzania | Africa

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