November 26, 1999
News Release 99-161
ITC'S INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC REVIEW FEATURES ARTICLES ON
WTO TRADE NEGOTIATION PROPOSALS, JAPAN'S FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
TO ASIA, U.S. TRADE WITH GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL STATES,
THE MACAO HANDOVER TO CHINA, AND
NAFTA ACCELERATED TARIFF ELIMINATIONS
WTO trade negotiation proposals, Japan's financial assistance to Asia, U.S. trade with the
Gulf Cooperation Council States, the Macao handover to China, and NAFTA accelerated
tariff eliminations are the topics covered in the current issue of the International Economic
Review (IER), a publication of the U.S. International Trade Commission's Office of
The IER is produced as part of the ITC's international trade monitoring program. The
program's purpose is to keep the Commission informed about significant developments in
international economics and trade and to maintain the Commission's readiness to provide
technical information and advice to policy makers in the Congress and the executive branch.
The opinions and conclusions of the IER are those of the authors and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the Commission or any individual Commissioner.
The current issue (September/October/November 1999) includes the following articles:
In addition, the publication reviews U.S. economic performance relative to other major trade
partners, U.S. trade performance, and economic forecasts. Comparative economic indicators
for major industrialized countries are also provided. An annual IER chartbook depicting
trends in U.S. trade with major trading partners and regions is also included in the IER
- WTO Trade Negotiation Proposals Tabled -- Since November 1998, WTO Member States
have been considering areas for proposals to take up in multilateral trade negotiations
following the Third WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle, Washington, which opens
November 30, 1999. The "built-in agenda" from the 1986-93 Uruguay Round
mandates negotiations in 2000 on agriculture, services, and government procurement,
but members are considering adding more areas.
- Japan's Financial Assistance to Asia -- Japan has contributed over $80 billion, the largest
amount of any other single country, in financial assistance to Asia following the
financial crisis in the region. This article describes Japan's current aid policies and
practices in the Asian region.
- U.S. Trade With the Gulf Cooperation Council States -- Six nations of the Arabian
Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab
Emirates) formed a regional customs union in 1981, called the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC). The GCC was formed to foster regional cooperation and economic
development for its members, which already shared a common language, religion, and
cultural background. This article describes recent trade developments affecting the
GCC customs union, with an analysis of the 1998 composition of U.S. exports, U.S.
imports, and trends in United States-GCC trade over the last decade.
- Macao: Another Handover -- At midnight on December 20, 1999, the Portuguese
dependency of Macao will follow in Hong Kong's path and return to China as a
"special administrative region." Macao exports over a billion dollars in goods and
services to the United States. As Macao strives to establish itself as a gateway to
China, the United States remains focused on trade relations, with an emphasis on
textile trade, transhipments, and intellectual property rights.
- NAFTA: Accelerated Tariff Eliminations -- The North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) contains a negotiated schedule for tariff reductions on NAFTA-origin goods
(Annex 302.2), which is to be fully implemented by the year 2008. Since the
inception of NAFTA, six annual stages of scheduled tariff reductions have been
implemented by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In addition to annual
scheduled tariff reductions, NAFTA provides for tariff reductions ahead of the
NAFTA schedule. This article describes the process and history of accelerated tariff
eliminations under NAFTA.
The current issue of the IER (USITC Publication 3254, September/October/November 1999)
will be available on the ITC's Internet server at www.usitc.gov. To request a printed copy,
write to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW,
Washington, D.C. 20436, or fax requests to 202-205-2104.
To be added to the mailing list for the publication, write to the Office of Economics, U.S.
International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436, or fax requests
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