1 August 2001
Moore hails implementation breakthrough
Director-General Mike Moore today hailed agreement reached last night to approve long-standing requests from eight developing countries to extend the grace period for complying with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures.
ôResolution of these issues is certainly a positive step. This a sign of new flexibility among members that augurs well for a successful Ministerial Conference in Doha this November. But a good deal more remains to be done. Some member governments have made clear that absent progress on implementation they cannot support the launch of a round. This is something which proponents of a round must address,ö he said.
The Goods Council, on 31 July 2001, adopted decisions granting extension of the transition period for the elimination of TRIMs notified under Article 5.1 of the TRIMs Agreement to the following countries: Argentina, Colombia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines and Romania. At the same time, it recommended that the General Council grant a waiver to Thailand for its TRIMs. The waiver for Thailand was approved by the General Council in a meeting that immediately followed that of the Goods Council.
The TRIMs Agreement provides for disciplines on measures in trade in goods that favour domestic over imported goods or establish quantitative restrictions on imports. An example of a TRIM is domestic content requirement in automobile manufacture. Developing countries were given a transition period of five years (1995-2000) to wind up their TRIMs. The new decisions extend this deadline for the requesting countries by two years (from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2001) with a possible further two years (1 January 2002 to 31 December 2003), subject to certain criteria such as the submission of a phase-out plan for the TRIMs measure.