unctad.org | Non-tariff measures: lifting CFTA and ACP trade to the next level
Non-tariff measures: lifting CFTA and ACP trade to the next level
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UNCTAD Research Paper No. 14

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Removing tariffs and addressing non-tariff measures within Africa makes good sense. Extending the agreement to across the Pacific or Caribbean increases the gainsby a modest amount. The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) are exploring the opportunities of a free trade agreement. The group of 79 developing countries was established to negotiate and implement cooperation treaties with the European Union but formed its own political identity in 1975. The EU has been negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with five regions in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to replace the existing preferential rules to make the ACP-EU relations compatible with WTO rules. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the Continental Free Trade Area negotiations have focused on the speed at which tariffs are removed and the extent to which various products may be regarded as sensitive and exempt from reductions. Ten to fifteen per cent of tariff lines have been suggested as an appropriate proportion of sensitive products, depending on the development status of the country. However, negotiators are unlikely to agree to this because for some countries ten per cent of tariff lines cover all imports. At the other extreme, exemption of one per cent of tariff lines would seem to be overly ambitious, and is also unlikely to be the basis for agreement.

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