Port Moresby (The National) – THE Pacific Island nations have been urged to stand with the Solomon Islands and ensure that any commitments made in the global trade body can only come into effect if the current round of negotiations is completed.
Currently six Pacific Island nations are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which is soon to decide the sequencing for commitments on trade facilitation in regards to a broader set of global negotiations launched over 10 years ago, with the aim of addressing development issues.
Pacific Network on Globalisation’s Campaigner Adam Wolfenden said: “Australia, New Zealand and other key export markets for the Pacific are not the ones who will be undertaking the commitments in this agreement, there is no cost involved in this for them.
“When we talk about trade facilitation, this agreement does nothing to address the non-trade barriers that prevent the Pacific from greater exports.”
Recent reports in Washington Trade Daily had seen the US making the dramatic threats to African nations that they will lose preferential trade access if they continue to demand that the trade facilitation agreement is implemented as part of the Doha negotiations.
“The fact that the rich countries are the ones pushing for a swift implementation of the trade facilitation agreement highlights just whose interest the commitments are.
“That agreement is not about increasing the Pacific’s exports but facilitating the imports from other countries” he said.
The World Trade Organisation membership is currently discussing the protocol for the implementation of the trade facilitation agreement.
And there is disagreement between countries on whether it should be implemented as part of the wider ongoing negotiations or independently.
The Pacific Network on Globalisation has written to all Pacific Island Members of the WTO calling on them to stand alongside the Solomon Islands in insisting that commitments on trade facilitation will only be implemented as part of the single-undertaking of the Doha round of negotiations.
– The National