Citation(s) from the literature library

Grynberg, Roman and Roy Mickey Joy. 2000 ‘The Accession of Vanuatu to the WTO. Lessons for the Multilateral Trading System.’ Journal of World Trade, 2000; 36 (6), pp. 159-173. London: Kluwer Law International. 1 January

Relevant contents

The United States has objected to the tariff peaks in chapters 22, 24 and 93. It has become one of the clichés of accession negotiations that in the end the negotiations always come down to "booze and cigarettes"; but now the United States, clearly under pressure from its own gun lobby is putting pressure on acceding countries to liberalize the trade in weapons.

The United States has argued that if Vanuatu wishes to restrict the trade in any of the categories of commodities -- alcohol tobacco and weapons -- then tariffs are an inappropriate measure. The USTR arguing that restrictions should be undertaken using other trade-neutral taxes has insisted on removal of the tariff peaks in these areas of vital US trade interest.

The unacceptability of allowing such tariff peaks clearly rests on the implications that would flow on for other accession negotiations. While there are revenue concerns on tobacco and alcohol and a desire to prohibit weapons completely there is a protective interest in alcohol.

In a counter-offer to the United States Vanuatu has agreed to impose a trade-neutral excise tax in these three areas and leave the tariff peak at 50 percent in the case of chapters 24 and 93 in addition agreeing to bind all alcohol tariffs at their applied rate.

Given the structure of its economy and its high vulnerability, Vanuatu cannot accept the US demands on general tariffs.

[This passage also appears, with slight alterations, in Grynberg's later book 'WTO at the Margins: Small states and the multilateral trading system.' Cambridge University Press (2004), p. 710.]

ID: Q875

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