Turkey to submit overview paper on textiles trade
At the Council for Trade in Goods meeting on 18 November 2008, Turkey said it would prepare a new submission that would give an overview of developments in the textiles sector after the phase-out of quotas.
Turkey said the paper would be based on studies by international institutions, in particular by the OECD, adding that it welcomed participation by other members in the preparation of the paper.
It noted that a few members still maintained systemic concerns about its long-standing proposal for a work programme on textiles involving compilation of studies on the subject by international organizations and discussion of this compilation in a workshop.
El Salvador, Jordan and Tunisia supported Turkey's statement. Pakistan, while maintaining its systemic concern to single out one sector, said it was ready to consult with Turkey for the preparation of the new submission.
The Council approved requests by the European Communities to extend by a further six months each the periods for compensation negotiations related to its enlargements in 2004 and 2007, respectively.
The WTO provides that members of a customs union must provide compensation to other WTO members affected by the new tariff structure. If agreement is not found, the affected WTO member may withdraw substantially equivalent tariff concessions six months after the customs union's new tariffs come into effect.
The period for the withdrawal of substantially equivalent concessions related to the EC enlargement of 19 January 2004 to 25 members was further extended until 1 August 2009.
The relevant period related to the EC enlargement on 1 January 2007 (Bulgaria and Romania) was extended until 1 July 2009.
Regarding the 2004 EC enlargement, Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica expressed concern that they have not been compensated for the loss of banana exports to the acceding EC member states. They urged the EC to approve the banana agreement proposed last July.
The EC said the proposed banana agreement could only be adopted if there was a breakthrough in the Doha Round.
The United States said it continued to consult with members on issues regarding its requests for waivers on three trade preference agreements (the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and the Andean Trade Preference Act). It said it hoped to present waiver request language that would reflect recent legislative changes at the next meeting.
Paraguay said that it had been meeting with the United States on this issue, and hoped for progress in the consultations that would enable it to join a consensus on the waiver requests.
Regional trade agreements
The chair, Amb. Karen Tan (Singapore), informed members that 16 regional trade agreements were recently notified to the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements.
The agreements are the following: Japan-Indonesia, EU-Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland-the Faroe Islands, Brunei Darussalam-Japan, the Common Economic Zone, EU-CARIFORUM states, EFTA states-SACU states, and free trade agreements between Ukraine and the following countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.