Implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement Inches Closer Following U.S. Letter of Acceptance
Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015, 7:00pm
by Semiconductor Industry Association
SIA welcomes the news that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman formally delivered the United States’ letter of acceptance of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to the WTO Director in Davos, Switzerland on Friday. Delivery of the letter was a welcome final step in U.S. acceptance of the Agreement.
The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO’s 160 Members have completed their domestic legal procedures and submit letters of acceptance. So far, three Members have submitted letters: Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States.
The TFA carries the promise of dramatically lowering trade costs by expediting import, export and in-country transit; removing bureaucratic red tape and corruption; making border processes more efficient and transparent; and focusing on technological advances to achieve such objectives. The WTO has noted “the benefits to the world economy are calculated to be between $400 billion and $1 trillion by reducing costs of trade by between 10% and 15%, increasing trade flows and revenue collection, creating a stable business environment and attracting foreign investment.”
The 2014 World Semiconductor Council (WSC) Joint Statement – released by the semiconductor industry associations in China, Chinese Taipei, EU, Japan, Korea, and the United States – called for the swift ratification and implementation of the TFA, noting the benefits the Agreement would bring to governments, industry, and consumers in both developing and developed countries alike. The TFA embodies many of the elements outlined in the WSC Trade Facilitation Principles, released by the WSC in 2013.
SIA urges other WTO members to recognize the importance of this landmark agreement and accept the TFA without delay, so all industries and economies can reap the benefits of the agreement and the jobs, trade, and economic growth it will foster.