2 October 2015
Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Emma McClarkin, has this week visited the WTO in Geneva to highlight the importance of ratifying a major trade deal focussing on the streamlining of customs procedures across the world.
Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Emma McClarkin, has this week visited the World Trade Organisation in Geneva to highlight the importance of ratifying a major trade deal focussing on the streamlining of customs procedures across the world.
The ECR spokesman for trade appeared on a panel at a public meeting of the twenty year old organisation, at which she talked about the geopolitical significance of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The main aim of the TFA is to quicken the movement, release and clearance of goods through customs by setting up a template of best practices that countries can implement to avoid the added cost and time of having to deal with different processes.
The TFA is also unique in the sense that it takes into account the differing levels of development of all the countries involved in the agreement by adjusting implementation deadlines and providing monetary assistance for less developed countries. It is hoped that this will ensure a more level playing field so that it isn’t just developed countries who can take part.
“It is vital that we get this deal across the line; that two thirds of the WTO Members ratify the agreement by the end of the year. Studies are showing us that by implementing the new customs procedures world trade costs could be reduced by as much as 17.5%, adding €60 billion Euros to global GDP each year.
Cost savings for businesses arising from the new customs processes should mean that in turn savings are passed down to the consumer, with the net effect of cheaper products for the customer. However, given that we are also ensuring the participation of developing countries, it will also mean a wider selection of good being made available across borders. It really is a win-win situation.”
Following the panel discussion, it has been confirmed that the European Council have now approved the deal meaning that alongside Parliament’s consent, the EU has added it’s 28 Member States. Emma went on to say:
“I am delighted that the EU is playing such a prominent role in this process by having signed up with a number of months left until the WTO Ministerial Conference in December. Hopefully this encourages other Members to expedite this process so that we can all benefit from a more streamlined international trading environment, for the benefit of businesses and consumers alike”
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