EU: Pakistan tariff waiver gains initial support
A request by the European Union asking World Trade Organization member nations to authorise a two-year tariff waiver from global rules for a group of 75 Pakistani goods has received a mixture of support but not without concern.
More than four-fifths of the goods are textiles, apparel, and footwear, to help the Asian nation recover from devastating floods. It has received initial support from many nations including China, the US, Vietnam, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
However, some WTO member states, including Peru, Brazil and India, have raised concerns the proposed measure could adversely affect other developing nation suppliers to the EU through trade diversion and preference erosion. They have asked for further consultation over the EU request.
India told a session of the WTO Goods council recently that while the EU's stated objective "is indeed a noble gesture", it also pointed out the EU measure "will cause collateral damage".
Pakistan urged WTO members to back the initiative, and argued it would not affect other developing nations. The request is slated to come up for discussion again in late January, trade diplomats said.
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