WASHINGTON -- National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler said the Chairman's report for the WTO Doha Round is a "weakening of ambition" and a "sharp departure" from discussions at the July WTO Mini-ministerial in Geneva.
The NAM is pressuring U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to make it clear that the report doesn't provide a basis for negotiations.
"Industrial goods are nearly two-thirds of all world trade, and the NAM and its counterpart organizations abroad have made it plain that agreement is possible only if there is a balance in industrial negotiations," Engler said. "Given the weakness of the present across-the-board industrial tariff cutting proposal, balance is only possible if the key countries of Brazil, China and India were to participate in negotiating sectoral agreements that would eliminate duties in major industrial sectors."
He adds that the NAM agreed with the Secretary-General Pascal Lamy's July 25th compromise text, and that the Chairman's report undercuts the possibility for agreements.
"The Chairman's report in essence reopens the July 25 Lamy compromise text and tilts it against the United States. Such an unbalanced reopening is not acceptable," Engler noted. "If the text is to be revisited in some areas, then it should be revisited in others -- including by restoring a robust tariff-cutting formula that would significantly reduce advanced developing country tariffs and shrink the scope of their unacceptably large loopholes."