General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GATT

© Guenter Fischer/Keystone
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) regulates the liberalisation of trade in industrial goods. GATT is the oldest and also most far-reaching agreement. Since the WTO was founded, negotiations on the trade in goods have been ongoing under the acronym NAMA (Non-Agricultural Market Access).

Switzerland adopts a tough stance in NAMA negotiations. Due to its interest in tapping new markets for its machines, pharmaceutical products and watches, it demands that developing countries extensively remove customs duties on industrial goods. This means that on the one hand they lose the protection they need for their industries, whilst on the other they lose out on important income from duties. Both of these factors are crucial to their economic development.

Public Eye is therefore calling on rich countries:

  • to keep the promises they made within the framework of the Doha Round and to account for the interests and needs of the countries of the South as a matter of priority.
  • to give developing countries the chance to decide for themselves how and at what pace they want to industrialise and open their markets.
  • to take the specific needs of the South into account by applying the principle of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
  • to undertake a comprehensive analysis to assess the potential impact of the NAMA package on developing countries and to adapt it accordingly.