WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

June 10, 2014

AAEI is closely monitoring the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement. The agreement, which was reached at the Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia last December, could add $1 trillion to the global economy. The deal cuts red tape at customs agencies around the world and makes it easier for businesses to conduct trade in developed and developing countries.

According to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the agreement creates binding commitments across 159(+) WTO Members to expedite movement, release and clearance of goods, improve cooperation among WTO Members on customs matters, and help developing countries fully implement the obligations. The agreement will increase customs efficiency and effective collection of revenue, and help small businesses access new export opportunities through measures like transparency in customs practices, reduction of documentary requirements, and processing of documents before goods arrive.

AAEI President and CEO Marianne Rowden says, “This agreement is very important for the trade community because it is an international treaty in which WTO members have committed to expedite shipments and conduct clearance processes in a transparent manner. The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement means real cost savings to AAEI members’ bottom line by reducing the costs of cross-border trade.”

Implementation of the agreement will have a strong impact on negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).