Oxfam International Contribution Regarding NAMA Negotiations

25-29 April 2005, World Trade Organisation, Geneva

Published: 26 April 2005

Driven by short-term commercial interests, industrialised countries are pressing hard for much greater access to developing country markets. If they are successful, poor countries will no longer be able to use tariff policy to help build national industries that are capable of supplying domestic markets and of exporting, thereby increasing employment and incomes, and generating other benefits for the economy. There is a danger that excessive opening to imports will destroy local businesses and jobs, without bringing compensating economic gains, despite the claims advanced by some theories of trade. In addition, governments may face balance of payments problems and loss of tax revenue. Effects such as these have already been seen in a number of countries that have undergone structural adjustment programmes under the auspices of the World Bank and the IMF.