USTR: Egypt’s import duties appear to violate WTO commitments
The US Trade Representative (USTR) has filed a request for consultations with Egypt in the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling into question Egyptian duties on apparel and textile imports, stated a USTR press release.
According to the USTR, Egypt’s inflated duties have “effectively denied US exporters access to the Egyptian market...The United States exported just $256,000 in clothing to Egypt in 2002.
Current duties imposed by Egypt on these imports are significantly higher than the rates agreed upon at the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which would be inconsistent with Egypt's WTO commitments, said USTR. Because the imposed rates are based on the number of articles being imported, rather than the value of the imports, the imposed rates cause considerable uncertainty in the market.
Egypt agreed to bind its duties on certain articles of apparel and clothing for 2003 at a rate of 46 percent, based on the value of the imports. It agreed to bind its duties on certain other textile and apparel articles at a rate of 41 percent.
A consultation request is the first step under WTO dispute settlement rules. If the consultations fail to resolve the dispute within 60 days, the United States will be entitled to request that a panel be established to consider the US complaint and determine whether Egypt is acting in accordance with its WTO obligations. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)