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Hard to hard in GATS

Parallel to the agricultural negotiations, there are fierce negotiations on trade in services in the WTO. It is in those negotiations the front clearly goes between rich and poor countries.

The dramatic WTO negotiations are about much more than agriculture. They also deal with trade in industrial goods (NAMA), trade in services (GATS) and patent rights (TRIPS).

Seen from the Third World, the main problem is that rich countries connect all these negotiations. The US and the EU will not intervene in the agricultural negotiations if they are not allowed to sell industrial goods and services much more freely than today.

Many developing countries still have high tariffs on imports of some industrial goods, not only to protect domestic production, but also to raise money for slender treasuries. The United States, the EU and other countries with efficient industry have demanded hard cuts in such tariff rates. Norway has depended on these requirements, partly because fish is defined as industrial goods in the WTO.

The EU will change the rules of the game in GATS

Equally strong is the pressure on developing countries in the negotiations on trade in services (GATS). In principle, GATS leaves every country free to decide whether it will open up to competition from abroad when it comes to trade. . .

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