Non-agricultural products (also known as ‘industrial products’) cover a diverse range of products. They include all manufactured goods from textiles, clothing and footwear to steel and aluminium, fish and fish products, forest products, chemicals, and minerals. For Pakistan, like most WTO members, non-agricultural products make up the overwhelming majority of their goods trade. Negotiations on these "industrial goods" in the current Doha Round of trade talks are known as the Non-agricultural Market Access or the "NAMA" negotiations. These negotiations, along with those on agriculture, services, rules including trade facilitation and development issues form the core of the Doha Round's work programme.
The Doha Ministerial Declaration Paragraph 16 and Decision of the General Council dated 1 st August 2004 (popularly known as ‘July Package) laid down the Mandate for NAMA negotiations. Annex ‘B’ of the July Package deals with this aspect of the negotiation. The mandate can be summarized as under.
Reduce or as appropriate eliminate tariffs, tariff peaks, high tariffs and tariff escalation, as well as non tariff barriers in particular on products of export interests to developing countries.
Developing countries shall, as integral part of modalities, have less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments, and S&D treatment for keeping certain tariff lines unbound or apply no or less than formula cuts.
The reduction commitment would commence from Bound Rates and for unbound lines the MFN applied rates of 2001 (marked up by ‘X” factor) will from the base rate.
Members are encouraged to notify NTBs and to proceed with identification and ultimately negotiations on NTBs.
The agreement reached through july package started a phase of intense negotiations in fall of 2004 and throughout 2005. The significant progress achieved was inked in Hong Kong Ministerial decision in December 2005.
Pakistan’s aim in these negotiations is to secure the maximum possible improvement in existing access and trading conditions for all non-agricultural products especially in the sectors of our major export interest. Therefore it has more ‘offensive’ interests in NAMA as tariff peaks of developed countries are hurting Pakistan’s exports especially in sectors of our major export interest i.e. the Textile and Clothing sector. Many countries are receiving Preferential Tariff Treatment, to the disadvantage of Pakistan (as Pakistan is not member of any meaningful FTA especially with our major trading partners e.g. USA & EU) and multilateral liberalization works better for Pakistan’s interest. Through flexibilities Pakistan can either keep its sensitive sector unbound or out of the ambit of formula cuts.