Release Date: 26 August 2008
Release ID: 1335
IRU says that the collapse of the WTO trade negotiations shows danger of growing neo-protectionism and will result in continued penalties on road transport, which will lead to even greater penalties on the economy as a whole.
The IRU deeply regrets the collapse of the WTO Doha Round negotiations held in Geneva. This failure will, among other things, deal a hard blow to the promising negotiations on a new trade facilitation agreement which would have led to the reinforcement of key articles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of great importance to trade and road transport, namely articles V, VIII and X on freedom of transit, justifiable fees and charges, as well as facilitated access to information by traders.
Peter Krausz, IRU’s Head of Goods Transport Facilitation, said “Governments finally started to understand that one cannot facilitate trade without equally and at the same time facilitating the movement of goods, that of our vehicles and drivers! The IRU can thus only share WTO Director General, Pascal Lamy’s view that the multilateral world trading system is now in danger due to growing protectionism. It is clear to the IRU that governments still do not realise that any penalty on road transport is an even greater penalty on the economy as whole! There is now greatly reduced hope that the highly burdensome and costly restrictions as well as the red tape hampering smooth trade and international road transport operations will be lifted soon.”
The IRU urges governments to return to the negotiating table and focus their energies on concluding, at a minimum, the new trade facilitation agreement, in particular with regard to GATT Article V on freedom of transit.
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