WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the eve of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting in Australia, John Engler — National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO — said the greatest danger threatening a possible collapse of the Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organization negotiations is a lack of strong ambition in cutting industrial tariffs in the Non-Agriculture Market Access negotiations.
“The leaders of the APEC nations have an unprecedented opportunity to advance the Doha Round by insisting on an ambitious approach to cutting the tariffs applied to manufactured goods. This will come through a strong tariff cutting formula, sector-specific agreements and robust removal of nontariff barriers such as in the automotive sector,” Engler said.
Manufactured goods are 70 percent of world merchandise trade, and Engler said the Doha Round won’t succeed without significant cuts in the real market access barriers preventing faster trade growth.
“Now is the time for the high-tariff advanced developing nations like India, Brazil and China to come to the negotiating table with real expectations for progress and real commitments toward substantial tariff reductions,” said the NAM president. They will be met with strong commitments from the United States, the European Union and other developed nations, according to Engler.
The APEC summit also holds significant promise in advancing regional trade prospects, through a possible Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific agreement, he said.