Ruggiero's speeches, 1995-99
“This new report makes clear that the WTO has plenty of unfinished
business,” said Director-General Mike Moore. “The best way we can
tackle the many remaining trade barriers that are preventing people
and countries from realizing their full potential is in a wider set of
new WTO Secretariat study profiles post-Uruguay Round market access
conditions in three areas — industrial tariffs, agriculture and
services — the latter two of which are already the subject of ongoing
negotiations. The detailed study is intended as a comprehensive
resource for negotiators and the interested public. A copy
may be downloaded from the WTO online bookshop.
of the findings presented in the new WTO Secretariat study are:
the 42 developed and developing countries surveyed the average
level of bound tariffs for industrial products ranges from 1.8% to
countries have bound their industrial tariffs at levels
significantly above the levels actually applied, with differences
between the average bound and average applied rates reaching more
than 30% in some countries. In such cases, bindings contribute
little to the stability of the applied tariffs.
WTO Members and five Observers participate in the Information
Technology Agreement which provides for the elimination of tariffs
on IT products. These countries currently account for 93% of world
trade in IT products.
the Asian countries in the sample, the share of agricultural
tariff lines with bound duties above 100% ranges from zero to 69%,
while among European countries the figure ranges from 1% to 45%.
the 160 possible services subsectors on which Members can choose
to schedule specific commitments, the “typical” WTO Member has
undertaken commitments on 25 subsectors.
nine countries that joined the WTO between January 1995 and July
2000 have assumed higher levels of commitments, in terms of
services sectors included, than incumbent Members at comparable
levels of development.
services the two most important modes of supply are mode 1
(cross-border supply) and mode 3 (supply through commercial
presence). So far members appear to have concentrated much of
negotiating effort on mode 3. There may, however, be a greater
focus on mode 1 commitments in the current negotiations as a
result of the growth of e-commerce.
main conclusions of Market Access: Unfinished Business are the
Uruguay Round has significantly contributed to the liberalization
of international trade but the post-Uruguay Round situation still
has many distortions;
there is scope for mutually beneficial agreements in the mandated
negotiations on agriculture and services, this scope can be
broadened significantly if industrial tariffs are drawn into the
to other developing countries' markets is becoming increasingly
important to developing-country exporters;
products of greatest interest to the least-developed countries —
many agricultural products together with clothing and other labor-intensive
manufactures — are among the most heavily protected in the
markets of their current and potential trading partners, both
developed and developing.