WTO. NAMA-forhandlingene - norske kommentarer til forhandlingstekst

På et møte 25. juli 2007 i forhandlingsgruppen for industrivarer (de såkalte NAMA-forhandlingene) kommenterte Norge det reviderte utkastet til forhandlingstekst.

På et møte 25. juli i forhandlingsgruppen for industrivarer (de såkalte NAMA-forhandlingene) kommenterte Norge det reviderte utkastet til forhandlingstekst:

Norwegian Intervention.
Negotiating Group on Market Access – 25.07.2007.

• Thank you Mr Chairman for the considerable effort you have put into this modalities paper. The following remarks are our preliminary comments.

• Your introductory remarks include many very good points – not least that we have to look at the end results of what we are negotiating.

• We also agree that it is time to focus on the gains from the round. There are many – both developed and developing members – who need increased NAMA market access.

• We appreciate that your text narrows the range of possible coefficients in order to facilitate our negotiation. However, we cannot hide the fact that we feel that your proposal, especially for developing members who will apply the formula is less ambitious than we had hoped for. In our view, there needs to be real cuts in NAMA tariffs in developed and emerging developing members.

• Other elements that contribute to ambition are the sectorals and the NTBs. The sectorals are important in terms of delivering improved market access. However, they can never be a replacement for a robust formula, but they are key elements to get an ambitious result.

• A comment regarding flexibilities for developing members: Mr Chairman, the level of flexibilities you have suggested in relation to the former para 8 underscores the need for ambitious coefficients. Our aim is a proper balance between the interests of those members that require real and tangible market access improvements [for important commodity groups] and those members that have serious sensivities regarding specific tariff lines.

• Norway has always been of the opinion that one size does not fit all – be it in NAMA or in other areas of negotiation. We therefore appreciate the alternative approach included in the new para 7, the so-called Mexico-solution. This gives choices to developing members and a level of comfort for niche exporters such as Norway. Whether the figures are right is another question, but we are ready to keep working on such a concept.

• There are many aspects of the paper that I could comment on, however we will revert to these in September. Nevertheless there is one issue that concerns us both from a substantive and a systemic point of view. It relates to the proposed product coverage. Almost all members have signalled a clear preference for an agreed list with no deviations. It should be possible to find a common definition of what NAMA comprises…!   
• Chair, Norway has nothing to gain in agriculture. To sell a balanced overall package, Norway needs substantial results in NAMA and in other areas of the negotiations such as Services and Rules.

• As regards your proposals for the further process in the fall we find this a useful suggestion and we support it.

• In conclusion, let me again thank you for the efforts you have made drafting this document. Despite our concerns – especially with the level of ambition – we consider this a starting point for continued work towards full NAMA modalities.