Source: Reuters Blogs
Although Brazil is one of the world’s ten largest economies and a growing export power, the Brazilian market “remains restricted in the technology sector,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk charges in an opinion piece posted yesterday.
“Since 1996, 73 countries comprising over 97 percent of the global trade in information technology products have opened their markets to competition in this sector by signing the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Signatories include developing countries such as Egypt, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Vietnam. [As part of the WTO’s Doha trade negotiations}, one of our ‘asks’ of Brazil is to join the ITA,” Kirk writes. “That’s reasonable.”
“Under the Doha package currently on the table, India would make cuts on only 3 percent of the tariffs it applies on industrial goods – a result that can hardly make sense in a 21st century economy in which India plays a major role. As with China and Brazil, we look to India to offer significant liberalization in sectors – such as pharmaceuticals and industrial machinery – where India is doing extremely well as an exporter. That’s reasonable.”
Brazil, India, and China “are also major competitors in global trade in services, where we also have considerable work to do to create new market access,” Kirk says. “China’s telecommunication operators are now the world’s largest; Brazil is the world’s 7th largest Internet user; and India is a world leader in information and communications technology (ICT) services. And yet the current services package would yield little progress in opening markets in sectors that drive global economic growth and development, from communications to financial services, environmental to supply chain services. Any final Doha package simply must do better.”