Hatch Statement on WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Impasse
WASHINGTON – Today, Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) released the following statement regarding the breakdown of trade facilitation talks in Geneva because of India’s opposition:
“I am extremely disappointed that India has failed to live up to the WTO agreements reached in Bali last December. The Trade Facilitation agreement was the first multilateral agreement to be reached in the WTO in its 20 year history, and rekindled hope that the WTO remained a viable negotiating forum. The Agreement would have reduced red tape and bureaucratic delay for goods being traded around the world, with potential benefits estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Such reforms would have been particularly beneficial to many developing nations.
“Sadly, just as with the collapse of the Doha Round in July of 2008, India has once again blocked significant progress towards greater trade liberalization and by doing so, put the broader international trading system at risk.
“This is an inauspicious start for the new Modi government. There is much work to be done on the protection of intellectual property rights and other important economic issues if India is truly going to attract investment and grow its economy.”
In December 2013, WTO members concluded negotiations on a Trade Facilitation Agreement at the Bali Ministerial Conference, as part of the wider “Bali Package”. The Trade Facilitation Agreement contains provisions for faster and more efficient customs procedures through effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It also contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.
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