3 November 2010

CHANGING RULES OF ORIGIN TO IMPROVE MARKET ACCESS FOR LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES. By Kimberly Ann Elliott (Center for Global Development, 1 October, 2010).  Developed countries are committed by the Millennium Development Goals, and under the World Trade Organization (WTO) communiqué issued at the Hong Kong ministerial in 2005, to provide duty-free, quota-free (DFQF) market access for least developed countries (LDCs). According to this paper, removing trade barriers to LDC exports lowers trade costs and expands trade, but rules of origin often raise costs and penalize exports, especially in LDCs with relatively undeveloped manufacturing sectors. As a result, what trade preferences give with one hand, they frequently take away with the other. While many rich countries have more to do to provide DFQF market access for LDCs, many could immediately improve existing programs by implementing more flexible rules of origin. This paper looks at whether rules of origin are needed, and, if they are, practical solutions for implementing them. For more information, please visit the Center for Global Development's website at

EPAS AND WTO COMPATIBILITY - A DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVE. (South Centre, September 2010). The discussion on WTO compatibility in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and ACP countries has so far been very narrowly defined, and largely from the perspective of the European Union. The EU has asked ACP countries to

liberalize at least 80% of their trade. Rather than simply taking on the EU's interpretation of ‘WTO compatibility' and GATT Article XXIV, ‘WTO compatibility', from the perspective of developing countries must be seen from the view point of the flexibilities these countries enjoy in the WTO, which should be reinforced in the EPAs. The paper is a matrix providing a comparison of the EPA commitments the EU is asking ACP countries for, and treatment of these issues in the WTO, including where appropriate, the type of flexibilities available for the different developing country groupings at the WTO. The issues dealt with in this paper include such things as market access for agricultural products, standstill clause, rules of Origin, MFN Clause and intellectual property. To access this paper, please refer to the South Centre's website at

REVIVING THE AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (AGOA) OF 2000. By Kimberly Ann Elliott (Center for Global Development, 29 September, 2010). The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of 2000 marked a major change in U.S. trade policy for poor countries by extending duty-free treatment to almost all imports from eligible countries, with the goal of expanding trade and encouraging growth-oriented reforms. African exports to the United States did increase markedly, but they were concentrated in a few products from a handful of countries. Moreover, AGOA's success in boosting clothing exports was not sustained as global competition increased later in the decade. According to this paper, to revive the program and expand its benefits, the Obama administration and Congress should work together on two main priorities: 1) Remove or significantly ease remaining restrictions on agricultural products. 2) Collaborate more effectively with African partners to improve the business climate and competitiveness. To access this paper, please refer to the Center for Global Development's website at

IMPLICATIONS OF IMPORT REGULATIONS AND INFORMATION UNDER THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY FOR GM COMMODITIES IN KENYA. By V. Kimani and G. Gruere (AgBioForum, November 2010). This study investigates the implications of implementing information requirements under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety's Article 18.2.a in
Kenya. It also assesses the challenges associated with the upcoming introduction of import regulations for genetically modified (GM) food in a country that largely imports and transports grain in East Africa. The analysis shows that Kenya has been importing GM grains for the past few
years and that border control under pending regulation will be difficult and costly. While the Protocol's information requirement's "may contain" option does not require too much effort, implementing the strict "does contain"
option will significantly increase the cost of trade and potentially the price of grains in Kenya. These results suggest that a regional approach to
import control is necessary, and that Kenya should reconsider its support to the "does contain" option of the Protocol. The paper is available at

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