[ Keidanren ] [ Policy ] [ Proposal ]

Basic Position and Recommendations
For the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference
and A New Round of Negotiations

Japanese Industries call for a comprehensive WTO New Round
and reveal seven top priorities as a negotiating agenda

-Executive Summary-

July 17, 2001

(Japan Federation of Economic Organizations)

As cross border corporate activities grow, the WTO framework is playing an increasingly important role for companies as a vehicle for promoting further liberalization, strengthening existing rules, and developing new rules to improve the international business environment. Keidanren, therefore, calls for the launching a comprehensive new round of negotiations at the Doha Ministerial to be held in November this year. Keidanren also requests the WTO member countries to reach a consensus on modalities and duration of negotiations, as well as the negotiation agenda at the Doha Ministerial conference.

Keidanren will present its positions on individual items on the negotiation agenda through the course of the negotiations and will actively work toward its positions being realized both at home and abroad.

Basic Principles and Procedures for the Negotiations

1. Modalities:

The best negotiation mode would be a "single-undertaking". However, the possibility of applying a plurilateral approach should not be a priori excluded.

2. Duration:

Three years would be appropriate to conclude the negotiations.

3. Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries:

The negotiations shall aim to achieve liberalization that enables developing countries to benefit from the multilateral trading system. For that purpose, giving special and differential treatment to developing countries, particularly LDCs, is an essential part of negotiations. Keidanren also affirms that capacity-building through technological assistance should be packaged with negotiations. We commit ourselves to cooperate with the government and assist those activities making the most of the private sector's knowledge.

Negotiation Agenda -Seven top priorities of Japanese Industries-

1. Built-In Agenda -Trade in Services, Trade in Agricultural Products-

Liberalization negotiations on trade in services and agricultural products will need to be incorporated into the new round and be accelerated.

2. Industrial Tariff Reductions

Drastic reductions or elimination in industrial tariffs are necessary so as to allow the efficient allocation of resources through free trade.

3. Investment

Investment rules must be developed with regard to: (1) investment protection; (2) transparency in investment-related regulations; (3) most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment; (4) national treatment (NT); (5) market access; and (6) dispute settlement, with special consideration to developing countries.

4. Anti-dumping

Member countries should agree that the AD Agreement (Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994) be reviewed and, where necessary, revisions made to clarify rules with a view to strengthening AD disciplines. The specific elements of the AD Agreement which need to be reviewed are (1) Determination of Dumping; (2) Determination of Injury; (3) Investigation Procedures; (4) Price Undertakings; (5) Imposition and Collection of AD Duties; (6) Review of AD measures; and (7) Dispute Settlement. Other elements, for example a public interest provision, should also be discussed where necessary.

5. Electronic Commerce

To elaborate and accelerate the Work Program on Electronic Commerce, Member countries should agree to establish a task-force that provides a forum to discuss primarily cross-cutting issues. We further request Member countries to reach consensus on the basic principles for ensuring stable growth of the trade on Electronic Commerce initiated by the private sector, such as establishing a permanent moratorium on customs at the Doha Ministerial Conference.

6. Intellectual Property Rights

It is necessary that developing countries and LDCs fulfill the TRIPS transitional period.

7. Trade Facilitation

Keidanren strongly requests that member countries agree to launch work on the creation of a basic rule on trade facilitation.

Other Important Issues

The preliminary position of Japanese industries are also expressed in this paper with regard to: (1) Trade and Environment, (2) Trade and Competition Policy, (3) Government Procurement and (4) Trade and Labor.

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