The trade facilitation agreement was finally confirmed in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013. It was reached after almost 20 years of negotiations. The agreement was formally open for 160 members of the World Trade Organisation to accept on 27 December 2014.
While achieving Trade Facilitation may be more difficult for developing countries, India believes that these countries stand to benefit the most from its provisions. Even if it is more challenging for developing countries, even modest reductions in the cost of trade transactions would make a difference in their economies. India, in response to the agreement, set up a national committee for trade facilitation under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary. The committee’s mandate includes a range of activities to facilitate domestic and regional coordination.
The TFA has numerous requirements for developing and least-developed countries. It also includes special treatment for developing countries and differentiated treatment for LDCs. Other provisions include technical assistance, capacity building, and national trade facilitation committees. The agreement is divided into three sections: the introduction, the institutional arrangements, and the final provisions. The introduction of the trade facilitation agreement to the WTO has sparked a variety of new debates on trade facilitation and WTO membership.
As a result, the TFA also includes provisions for developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) and a grace period for developing economies. The latter two categories are granted shorter time frames, with longer terms granted to LDCs. The WTO is monitoring the implementation of the TFA to ensure that the rules are upheld. In addition to the TFA’s provisions, the trade facilitation agreement also includes legal requirements for developing countries.
The trade facilitation agreement entered into force on February 22, 2017. It was ratified by two-thirds of WTO members. Congress is interested in the TFA, because it may affect U.S. trade flows, the economy, and international capacity-building. So, how should the United States implement this agreement? Let’s discuss. cunoaște More About the Trade Facilitation Agreement
The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has been implemented since February 2017, reducing red tape for trade worldwide. Australia co-sponsored the agreement in the WTO and played a key role in its successful conclusion. Australia advocated the inclusion of obligations to reduce documentary requirements and expedite clearance of perishable goods. The trade facilitation agreement is expected to increase the global productivity by up to $1 trillion. It has also helped small businesses access new export markets.
The Doha Ministerial re-ignited efforts on the Trade Facilitation Negotiations, though the opposition did not die down. The agreement brought the two sides closer to a final agreement. In Cancun, however, the lack of progress was highlighted again. In addition, the Colorado Group kept trying to gain more members. However, the Doha Ministerial demonstrated the need for more progress in the Trade Facilitation Negotiations.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement sets international standards for reducing administrative and legal obstacles to trade. It outlines measures for the effective co-operation of customs and other authorities. It aims to reduce delays and costs for all participants. As trade becomes increasingly global, the TFA will help reduce trade costs and improve the welfare of developing countries. While it may seem like an oxymoron, the TFA is an important contribution to the global economy.