Policies & Issues

Multilateral Negotiations

 

What is it?

The European engineering industries are export-oriented and run a healthy trade surplus with other world economies overall. Orgalime is therefore in favour of pursuing all avenues for advancing free trade in engineering products, whether multinational, bilateral or regional. The current round of multilateral trade negotiations has been conducted within the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round since 2001, under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

 

Why is it important?

The best way of achieving open markets worldwide is by successfully concluding a multinational agreement, as is being sought in the Doha round. A new WTO deal must deliver new and effective industrial market access for businesses. Since tariffs are relatively low for our sector (apart from certain peak tariffs), a growing issue for Orgalime is non-tariff barriers (NTBs), which are undermining the competitiveness of our industries and distorting international markets.

 

Our viewpoint

Engineering industries are in favour of the WTO DDA round, but on a balanced basis. Since the compromise on the tariff-reduction formula is rather weak, a sectoral agreement on machinery and electronics is crucial. We welcome the extension of the product scope of the existing Information Technology Agreement. However, it is essential to ensure that this does not happen at the expense of weakened IPR protection as claimed by some emerging countries. A WTO mediation mechanism for resolving and removing NTBs would be welcome.

 

How we’ve been engaged

Orgalime focuses its attention on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, and continues to send input to the European Commission on the status of multilateral negotiations, explaining our positions, concerns and requests. We identify the positions of our members, sector-specific issues, and remain involved in various working groups and business platforms that communicate their priorities to the WTO and EU institutions. In its communications, Orgalime stresses the following points: trade negotiations, both bilateral and multilateral, must deliver effective new industrial market access and address distorting non-tariff barriers (NTBs); also, bilateral negotiations are a ‘second-best’ option and that industry would prefer to open up markets worldwide through the conclusion of a new deal at WTO level (which currently is not a realistic solution).

 

Useful links

Position papers

WTO NAMA negotiation

Published:
2 July, 2008
Policies & Issues:
Multilateral Negotiations
Published:
2 July, 2008
Policies & Issues:
Multilateral Negotiations

WTO negotiations - Non-preferential rules of origin

Published:
22 December, 2006
Policies & Issues:
Multilateral Negotiations
Published:
22 December, 2006
Policies & Issues:
Multilateral Negotiations

Related issue position papers

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