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Analytical Studies

Summit Performance Assesments by Issue: Trade

Single Statement on Trade

The Summit of the Eight should state their plans for completing the off-schedule portions of the Uruguay Round, announce a new major round of trade talks and outline the requirements of Russian ascension to the WTO.

Assessment of the Communiqué on Trade Grade: B+

The nations of the Summit made positive statements on trade in the Communiqué. These include the encouragement of lesser developed African nations to join the WTO, settling the issue of Financial Services and a general statement reaffirming their dedication to the widest and most open trading system possible. They also noted their plans for completing a Multilateral Agreement on Investment by 1998 and the WTO Ministerial in Singapore this year. Discussions were continued on electronic money, transparency issues and tax competition.

The Summit was successful in their discussions of trade because they dealt with both short-term issues (i.e.: Financial Services negotiations) and long term issues (i.e.: African integration in the WTO). The Summit Communiqué failed to mention the currently stalled Maritime trade negotiations and any new major trade rounds.

While less significant, the bilateral meetings did offer some other positive trade decisions such as US-Canada salmon talks are restarting, loosening of EU-US customs restrictions and some lesser US-Japan issues.

Overall, trade was an unusually low priority that was dealt with moderately well by the Summit Communiqué. Especially, the clear statement on Financial Services was welcome and necessary, suggesting the negotiations at the ministerial level have been ongoing and productive.

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