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Voorzitters vakbonden wijzen NAMA-tekst resoluut van de hand (23 juli)

Via de OWINFS malillijst, van Deborah James (CEPR)  en Carin Smaller (IATP)
De onderhandelingen over NAMA (handel in industriële goederen) is een van de meest conflictueze onderwerpen binnen de WTO,
Vandaag was er een ongelovelijke persconferentie met vakbondsmensen die de tekst van de WTO onacceptabel vinden als basis voor de onderhandelingen. De WTO-leiding hoorde van deze persconferentie en verzette haar eigen persconferentie naar het zelfde tijdstip. Hieronder is de verklaring van de vakbondsleden te lezen, met enkele aparte citaten. Hieronder een gemeenschappelijke verklaring van arbeidersvakbonden uit Latijnsamerika, Azië en Afrika, een verklaring van de Southeast Asia Fishers for Justice (Filippijnen) en een aantal citaten van vakbondsmensen. Helemaal onderaan cijfermateriaal van de vakbonden over NAMA. 

9 min leestijd
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Statement by Trade Unions at the “mini-Ministerial” of the WTO
July 23, 2008

Any negotiations on NAMA in the Doha “Development” Round, WTO must be
based on the implications for jobs and development on developing
countries. The mandate of the text is based on the principle of “less
than full reciprocity.” This principle intends to take into account the
relative development levels among different countries, and the need for
developing countries to protect their industries from imports in sectors
that are strategic for their development.

The current negotiations, focused on the coefficients for a Swiss formula,
have served to obfuscate the real implications for tariff cuts that would
be applied to sensitive sectors in our economies. Based on the range of
coefficients included in the most recent July 10th text, developed
countries of the EU, US, and Japan would apply a tariff cut of 28% on
average (for the three countries) – while Brazil, India, and Indonesia
would apply (on average for the three countries) an average tariff cut of

It is outrageous that the developed countries are demanding twice the
level of tariff cuts from developing countries than they are offering to
cut themselves. This is the absolute opposite of less than full
reciprocity, and is completely unacceptable to the workers of the
developing countries. This level of cuts to bound tariffs would imply
severe cuts to real applied tariffs, and therefore would result in direct
massive job losses for workers in developing countries. Because the
commitments taken in the current Round would bind tariffs permanently, it
would also foreclose development space for our governments to be able to
raise tariffs in strategic or new sectors in the future, based on our
national development policies.

With regards to the new text released July 10th, and based on its
implications for jobs and development, we express our strong outrage at
the extreme and anti-development demands made by the developed countries,
and strongly urge our governments to reject the text as completely
unacceptable as the basis for negotiation. If that rejection results in
developed countries threatening to stop negotiating in the Doha Round then
the Round’s failure will be a result of the intransigence of the rich
countries’ demands on NAMA, and the developing countries cannot and
should not be blamed as they are simply insisting on their right to the
mandated less than full reciprocity principle, and to preserving policy
space essential for their development.

In addition, we would like to point out that decisions of this magnitude
should be taken by the full membership of the 153 member countries of the
WTO. In addition, we have heard that the Director General, Pascal Lamy,
may come out with a “Chair’s Text” at the end of the week. We
express our most vehement opposition to whatever text or agreement that
might result without the full participation of all of the member states,
and in addition express our vehement opposition to a possible “Chair’s
Text” due to the absolute lack of democratic process in an issue as
serious for workers and development as the Doha Round.

We reiterate our perspective from previous declarations in terms of
demands for an increase in the percentages for the flexibilities without
accepting greater tariff cuts (a lower coefficient); for the possibility
to both select tariffs lines that are exempted from tariff cuts and that
are subject to half the formula cuts; and to allow for flexibilities to be
changed over time.

In addition, we express vehement opposition to the anti-concentration
clause that would put such extensive limitations on the flexibilities as
to render them nearly useless. This issue, which has been added at such a
late stage in the negotiations, is yet another attack on developing
country policy space, which would result in further extensive job losses.

We also reiterate our demand not to make any trade-offs between NAMA and
Agriculture. Both sectors are important for the development of our
economies and should not be traded-off one against the other, particularly
given the extremely unequal balance in the rate of exchange being offered
regarding developed countries’ weak offers in agriculture compared to
their extreme and unacceptable demands in NAMA.

Finally, we call on all our governments to maintain unity and strength of
the NAMA 11 group, and express our disposition to continue our dialogue on
these extremely important issues.


Ruben Cortina
President, UNI-Americas

Gerardo Martinez
Secretary of International Affairs

Eduardo Paladin

Marino Vani
Vice President
CNM/CUT Brasil

Antonio Vale
Vice President, CUT

William Lobos
Costa Rica

Thomas Thampan
HMS India

José Luis Hernández
Vice President
UNT México

Tony Salvador
Alliance of Progressive Labor

Ariel Castro
Director for Workers’ Education
Trade Union Confederation of the

Rudi Dicks
South Africa

(noot 1:

These calculations are
based on a coefficient of 8 for developed countries and a coefficient of 21 for
developing. Even a coefficient of 23 would yield an average percentage
reduction of 59.38% for Brazil, India, and Indonesia, and a coefficient of 30
would still yield a high average percentage tariff reduction of 52.85% for
these three countries. To reach the level of percentage cut for developing
countries that would approximate two-thirds of the percentage cut for these
developed countries (given the 8 coefficient), the coefficient for these
developing countries would have to be closer to 140. [Two thirds of the 28% cut
of the 3 developed countries would be 19% cut for the three developing
countries, and this corresponds to a coefficient of about 140 for these 3
developing countries]


July 23, 2008

Arsenio Tanchuling, Coordinator of Southeast Asia Fish for Justice

call on our trade negotiators to ensure that fishery products are exempted from
the market access formula cuts in the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA).
The NAMA prescription of blanket trade liberalization runs contrary to the very
nature of fisheries.

is an environmental good with biologically defined limits. Unlike the
industrial goods under NAMA, over extraction of fishery resources could spell
disaster for the livelihoods of small scale artisanal fisheries and their

to the 2002 study of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), from being a net
exporter of fish, the Southeast Asian region will become a net importer of fish
over the next decade. ASEAN will produce 12.6 million to 14.3 million metric
tons in fishery products in 2010.

However, the region will need 13.6 million to
16.6 million metric tons to satisfy its domestic demands.

are alarmed by the July 10 NAMA modalities that undermined the flexibilities
that should be accorded to sensitive products like fisheries. The linking of
co-efficient formula with the allowable coverage of unbound products is
unacceptable and contrary to the gains achieved during the 2005 Hong Kong
Ministerial Meeting.

deplore the efforts of developed countries to include fisheries in sectoral
negotiations in the WTO. Sectoral negotiations will render special and
differential treatment for fisheries under the NAMA flexibilities, useless.


Enkele citaten:

Ruben Cortina, Argentine Federation
of Commerce and Services Workers and president of UNI-Americas:
We are deeply concerned by the latest
push to conclude the Doha round. If we sign this agreement, Argentina could lose
two hundred thousand jobs in the textile and clothing sector alone. Last night we
met with our delegation, and honestly we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel
– we are deeply concerned about jobs and prospects for development.’
‘It seems that nobody wants to carry
the burden of the failure of the round. The prospect that Pascal Lamy will propose
a text by Friday is very real, and it goes against the fundamentals of a
democratic process. You cannot force countries to agree to something as important as this
in 24 hours – there are millions of people, flesh and bone, who will be affected by

* Rudi Dicks, Congress of South African
Trade Unions (COSATU):
We are in a particular state of
development in relation to jobs and poverty and the negotiations do not take this into
account. South Africa has an overall unemployment rate of 42%. The average tariff cuts
being floated in Geneva can be deceiving as they do not necessarily show the
sensitivities of different sectors. In South Africa, these include textiles, rubber,
clothing, footwear, automobiles and chemicals. The proposed cuts would be
even deeper because they are the sectors that are creating the largest number of jobs
and that have the most prospects for employment growth.’
‘If our countries accept what is on
the table it will cause a serious employment crisis. The pressure that is being put
on the South African government will ultimately be borne by our workers and
our members. We simply cannot allow that.’

* Felipe Saboya, United Confederation
of Workers/ Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT):
‘Discussions about the coefficient
sometimes hide the real impact of the cuts. A coefficient of eight for developed
countries represents a 28 per cent cut in tariffs. The lowest coefficient being
offered to developing countries is 19 which represents a cut of between 55 and 65
per cent. This is clear evidence that there is in fact no commitment to the "less
than full reciprocity" principle that is meant to be in the negotiating mandate.’
‘When are the negotiators going to
wake up to the fact that we are talking about different levels of development and we
simply cannot have a one size fits all approach.’
‘During the Uruguay round, the last
time Brazil made significant tariff cuts, we lost 1.320 million jobs. Since then we
have started recovering but all the gains of the past few years could be
significantly threatened.’

* Arsenio Tanchuling, Southeast Asia
Fishers for Justice (SEAFISH), Philippines:
‘We call on the trade negotiators to
ensure fishery products are exempted from the cuts under the NAMA negotiations.
According to FAO, from being a net exporter of fish, the South-East Asian region will
become a net importer of fish over the next decade, putting the livelihoods of 200
million people who live off fisheries at stake. This is unacceptable and
contrary to the gains achieved during the 2005 Hong Kong Ministerial.’