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Vakbondsbrief aan NAMA-11

Brief van 8 juni 2008 van de voorzitters van een aantal vakbondskoepels aan de handelsministers van de NAMA-11 groep (Argentinië, Brazilië,
Venezuela, Zuidafrika, Namibië, Tunisië, Egypte, India, Indonesië en de Filippijnen). Hierin wordt gevraagd vast te houden aan de standpunten die de groep in de WTO-onderhandelingen innam ten aanzien van markttoegang voor industriële goederen.
(bijlage bij aktieoproep Our World Is Not For Sale-netwerk van 7 juli 2008)
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To the Ministers of Trade from the
NAMA 11 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, South Africa, Namibia,
Tunisia, Egypt, India, Indonesia and the Philippines

8 June 2008

Dear Minister,

We would like to share with you our
analysis of the NAMA draft modalities text of 20 May 2008, and reiterate our
longstanding position regarding the NAMA modalities as well as our support to the NAMA 11

The recently released NAMA modalities,
although offering a somewhat broader range of options for developing countries,
still falls far short from the NAMA 11 position and trade union demands made on earlier
occasions. The draft modalities are an attempt to give in to some of the NAMA
11 demands, however, the proposed coefficients remain far too low to
avoid the loss of employment in many sectors, and will still hamper the future
development of industries in our countries. Although some flexibilities have been increased,
these are traded-off against a lower coefficient and therefore not acceptable. We also note
that the proposed modalities still do not respect the principle of less than full
reciprocity as required by the Doha mandate.

We would like to stress earlier trade
union statements in which we demanded the NAMA 11 to stay strong on its current
position of a 25 point difference between the coefficient for developed and
developing countries; on respecting the principle of less than full reciprocity; for an increase
in the percentages for the flexibilities without accepting 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. We do welcome additional specific flexibilities for some countries that
take into account specific developmental needs of these countries. However, these
proposals should not be aimed at dividing the NAMA 11 group, and should be in addition to
a higher coefficient and more flexibilities for all developing countries subject to the

Over the next few weeks, the
discussions around the draft modalities will intensify and pressure will be put on negotiators
to converge on positions, including on NAMA. There is an aim to move into a
horizontal negotiating process and to finalize the NAMA modalities in a ministerial
meeting. Despite any pressures over the next few weeks we call upon the NAMA 11 to
defend its position and to maintain unity within the group. 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.

And finally we hope that the NAMA 11
continues to reach out to other developing country groupings such as the G-90 and
the SVEs, to safeguard the development dimension of the Doha round, both in
Agriculture and in NAMA. Such alliances are extremely important to show that there
is a large number of countries that do not accept a deal at all costs.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Zwelinzima Vavi
General Secretary
COSATU, South Africa

Mr. Dennis George
General Secretary
FEDUSA, South Africa

Mr. R.A.Mital,
National Secretary
HMS, India

Mr. Mendoza
TUCP, Philippines

Mr. Josua Mata
General Secretary
APL, Philippines

Mr. Rekson Silaban
KSBSI, Indonesia

Mr. H. Thamrin Mosii
KSPI-CITU, Indonesia

Mr. Gerardo Martinez
General Secretary
CGT, Argentina

Mr. Joao Antonio Felicio
International Relations Secretary
CUT, Brazil

Mr. Abdessalem Jerad
General Secretary
UGTT, Tunisia

Mr. Kaaronda
General Secretary
NUNW, Namibia