The EU reiterates its position on the WTO free-trade areas rules
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CTA. 2004. The EU reiterates its position on the WTO free-trade areas rules. Agritrade, January 2004. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52862
The European Commission position on WTO rules on regional trade arrangements...
The European Commission position on WTO rules on regional trade arrangements was reiterated in the EC communication on the reviving of the Doha Development Round. In this document the Commission argued that regional trade arrangements can contribute to the functioning of the multilateral trading system, provided ‘they adhere strictly to the conditions laid down in Articles XXIV of GATT'. The Commission views with concern ‘the recent drift towards very partial sector-specific “free-trade areas” between some members …the EU should firmly reject any attempt to weaken the rules governing RTAs or to argue that they should escape multilateral disciplines in the first place'. Comment: This position, if adopted by the EU Council, would make it more difficult to secure the more flexible WTO rules that are needed in order to reduce the adverse effects that moves towards free trade between ACP and EU countries would have under existing WTO requirements. The Commission is increasingly arguing that S&D treatment is ‘not about absolving or sheltering poor countries from WTO commitments'.