Essays in Honour of Peter Lloyd, Volume II
Edited by Sisira Jayasuriya
Chapter 5: Choosing formulas for market access negotiations: efficiency and market access considerations
5. Choosing formulas for market access negotiations: eﬃciency and market access considerations Joseph Francois, Will Martin and Vlad Manole* 1. INTRODUCTION There is a now a clear understanding that there are wide divergences between the broad approaches to tariﬀ reduction initially proposed by diﬀerent participants in the Doha Development Agenda. In his overview of the agricultural negotiations, Stuart Harbinson (WTO, 2003a) emphasized the wide divergence between the Uruguay Round approach to tariﬀ reduction favoured by Switzerland, Europe and Japan, and the more strongly top-down Swiss formula favoured by Uruguay, other Cairns Group members and the USA. He asked whether there were alternative views that might be used to form a basis for a compromise between the two approaches. In the negotiations on non-agricultural market access, the draft declaration for the ill-fated Cancun Ministerial moved away from earlier proposals involving a Swiss formula for non-agricultural market access, instead calling for delegates to seek a ‘non-linear’ tariﬀ reduction formula to be determined (WTO, 2003d). There seems to be broad agreement in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations on the desirability of a formula-based approach to tariﬀ reductions, and many diﬀerent formulas have been proposed. Some of these approaches – such as the Uruguay Round approach to agricultural tariﬀ reduction – allow discretion in assigning tariﬀ cuts at the individual tariﬀ-line level. Others are speciﬁed on a line-by-line basis, removing policy makers’ discretion at the individual product level. A major diﬃculty in comparing the diﬀerent formulas under consideration is...
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