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Comparison of Obligations in U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement with WTO Accession Requirements

Comparison of Obligations in U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement with WTO Accession Requirements

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Comparison of Obligations in U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement with WTO Accession Requirements

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  1. Comparison of Obligations in U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement with WTO Accession Requirements Demetrios J. Marantis Chief Legal Advisor, U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council demetrios.marantis@usvtc.org www.usvtc.org Seminar on Vietnam’s Accession to the WTO Hanoi Hilton Opera 6 August 2003

  2. Overview: From the BTA to the WTO

  3. Overview: From the BTA to the WTO BTA: Bilateral MFN Agreement/Lays Foundation for WTO • Types of Trade Agreements • Pre-WTO: MFN Trade Agreement (e.g., BTA) • WTO: WTO Accession • Post WTO: WTO Plus FTAs (e.g., U.S.-Singapore FTA) • Historical Context • Necessary for U.S. to apply MFN tariffs to Vietnam • Other countries have also gone through MFN agreements with U.S. (e.g., Russia, Cambodia) • Big Step to WTO • BTA based on WTO principles • Through BTA, Vietnam has already committed to do many of the things that will be required of it for WTO accession.

  4. Overview: From the BTA to the WTO Some BTA obligations incorporate WTO Agreements in full. • Ch. I, Art. 3(4): incorporates WTO Customs Valuation Agmt. • Ch. IV, Art. 11: incorporates substantive provisions of WTO TRIMs Agmt • Chapter VI, Art. 8: incorporates WTO Import Licensing Agreement WTO Accession will require Vietnam to apply such agreements to all WTO Members. Some BTA obligations incorporate partial WTO obligations. • Chapter I: incorporates fundamental principles of SPS, TBT, and others • Chapter II: incorporates most of TRIPS Agreement • Chapter III: incorporates most of GATS • Chapter VI: based on WTO transparency principles WTO Accession will require Vietnam to assume full agreements, where relevant (i.e.., SPS, TBT, TRIPS, GATS), and apply to all Members.

  5. Overview: From the BTA to the WTO Some BTA commitments will form basis of negotiations with Members. • Ch. I, Annex E: tariff commitments • Ch. III, Annex G: services commitments WTO Members will expect Vietnam to “multlateralize” these commitments pursuant to WTO MFN obligations. Some BTA obligations have no WTO equivalents. • Ch. II: certain provisions provide more than the TRIPs • Ch. IV: investment provisions (other than TRIMs) • Ch. V: business facilitation • Ch. VI: certain transparency provisions provide more than WTO Most (but not all) of these provisions will not play role in WTO accession negotiations.

  6. Overview: From the BTA to the WTOKey Questions for WTO Accession • Where is WTO Accession “BTA Plus”? • Which BTA Commitments Do WTO Provisions Require Vietnam to “Multilateralize”? • What Benefits Does the WTO Provide that the BTA Does Not? • How Does BTA Implementation Facilitate WTO Accession by 2005?

  7. Where is WTO Accession “BTA Plus”?

  8. Where is WTO Accession “BTA Plus”?

  9. Where is WTO Accession “BTA Plus”? (Cont.)

  10. Where is WTO Accession “BTA Plus”? (Cont.)

  11. Where is WTO Accession “BTA Plus”? (Cont.)

  12. Which BTA Commitments Do WTO Provisions Require Vietnam to “Multilateralize”?

  13. Which BTA Commitments Do WTO Provisions Require Vietnam to “Multilateralize”?

  14. Which BTA Commitments Do WTO Provisions Require Vietnam to “Multilateralize”? (Cont.)

  15. Which BTA Commitments Do WTO Provisions Require Vietnam to “Multilateralize”? (Cont.)

  16. What Benefits Does WTO Accession Provide That the BTA Does Not?

  17. What Benefits Does WTO Accession Provide That the BTA Does Not?

  18. What Benefits Does WTO Accession Provide That the BTA Does Not? (Cont.)

  19. How Does BTA Implementation Facilitate WTO Accession by 2005?

  20. How Does BTA Implementation Facilitate WTO Accession by 2005?

  21. How Does BTA Implementation Facilitate WTO Accession by 2005? (Cont.)

  22. Conclusion

  23. Conclusion: The BTA and Post-2005 BTA reflects WTO Agreements as the are today. • Today: So many BTA obligations stem from/similar to WTO Accession requirements. • Tomorrow: WTO in process of evolution. • Accessions get harder each time. Easier to accede in 1995 than now. • Doha obligations could add new accession requirements. • Countries negotiating post-2005 could face harder time. BTA sets stage for 2005 Accession. • WTO accession requirements are what they are. • BTA, which incorporates and phases-in many of these requirements, helps accomplish 2005 goal.

  24. August 2003