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~ Compliance Contents~

Compliance with G8 Commitments:
From Birmingham 1998 to Köln 1999

Compliance Studies by Issue Area:
International Trade

Commitment: "we reaffirm our strong commitment to continue trade and investment liberalization within the multilateral framework of the WTO".

Canada: Score: +1

Canadian Direct Investment Abroad rose by over $34.1 billion. This was predominantly targeted to the American and European markets. In terms of Canada-US trade, the above average growth rate of the American economy (3.9%), stimulated a growth in Canada's export of goods and services to that market. This increase more than offset the decline of Canadian exports to the Asian and some Latin American economies.

Canada's automotive industry experienced a rapid growth as auto exports grew by over 25%

France: Score: 0

The French continued to strongly support trade to the developing economies of Africa the Pacific and the Caribbean in the past year. Yet they are nevertheless strongly advocating the renewal of the Lomé Convention such that it gives preferential treatment to certain regions at the expense of others - an act that clearly contravenes the spirit and purpose of the WTO.

Germany: Score: NA

Italy: Score: +1

In the past year, export trends in Italy have remained unchanged, and in fact were substituted with an increased level of internal trade. The Italian position in regards to the Asian developing countries and Japan was reversed, as large surpluses became deficits. On the other hand, trade balances wit the USA and with the developing countries have improved as exports to Africa, the USA and Latin America have been strong.

Japan: Score: -1

In the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis that erupted in last year, the Japanese economy has experienced reduced growth. To safeguard against any exacerbation of their financial distress, Japan has contracted its imports by 5.5 per cent. Its exports also decreases marginally. <Voluntary export restraints>

Russia: Score: NA

United States: Score: 0

The Clinton administration is in the process of completing regulations for implementing a policy that will relax US sanctions on exports of food and medicine.. This measure, which was fueled by the need to assist US farmers hurt from plunging commodity prices, will affect sales mainly to countries of the Middle East. The United States and the European Union are currently in a trade dispute over selected products from the EU. The US has decided to begin withholding Liquidation, effective March 3, 1999, on these selected products. This effect, though, is the equivalent to the US taking a unilateral action, despite the fact that the WTO has not authorized the US to suspend concessions.

United Kingdom: Score: +1

Brian Wilson, British Minister for Trade, has taken definitive to help empower the developing countries to more effectively deal and participate in trade discussions. He argues that they are often marginalized in negotiations, and that this second-rate status should be eliminated. As such, Britain has been helping prepare the way for significant liberalization in the next round of WTO negotiations in order to push through increased market access for the least developing countries. Along the same lines, Wilson also made a trade-related visit to Cuba in November where he encouraged trade to prosper in the region. In the first eight months of 1998, British exports to Cuba rose by 115% over the same period in 1997.

Reports produced by Thalia Lidakis, May 1999

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