SOUTH Africa would have to make more severe tariff cuts than any other member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) should the Doha round of negotiations be completed in their current form‚ according to the Department of Trade and Industry.
The Doha round has been stalled since 2008.
Department of Trade and Industry deputy director-general Xavier Carim on Friday told Parliament’s trade and industry committee that there had been repeated attempts by the world’s major economies to erode the developmental mandate of the Doha round.
He said these major economies opposed meaningful trade reform in agriculture but put pressure on emerging economies to open their industrial and services sectors.
"The demands on South Africa would be harsh as South Africa obtains little in agriculture but would be required to take deeper and wider industrial tariff cuts than any other WTO member‚” Mr Carim said.
He said the Doha round would perpetuate the imbalances of the previous Uruguay round and was not an outcome that was developmental‚ fair and balanced — "divergences and intransigence have brought the Doha round to an impasse since 2008”.
Responding to questions from MPs‚ he said the problem was that South Africa‚ during the Uruguay round‚ was treated as though it was a developed economy and not a developing one. © BDlive 2013