US assures Pakistan of supporting EU trade concessions from WTO


ISLAMABAD – The US has assured Pakistan of playing its due role in the approval of the European Union trade concessions from the next meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). An official source said Senior Adviser to US President on Economy David Lipton gave the assurance at a meeting with officials of the Commerce Ministry on Friday.
“We were asked to provide names of countries that were creating hurdles in the implementation of the concessions and we were assured that the US would play its diplomatic role in this regard,” the source said. “The EU trade concessions were to be implemented from January 1 this year, but these were delayed as some countries, India, Brazil and Vietnam, objected to the unilateral concessions by the WTO. After the objections, the implementation has been delayed until April, as the approval still hinges upon an approval from the WTO in March,” the source added.
The US delegation was informed that the government was taking necessary steps for implementation of the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) that would be operational from February 12. The commerce secretary briefed the US delegation on steps taken by Pakistan to implement the new transit trade treaty with Afghanistan. The source said the US side stressed that APTTA should be used to foster regional trade with Central Asian states.
The source added that a comprehensive overview of bilateral trade initiatives was also taken during the meeting. Pakistan stressed on expediting congressional approval of the pending ROZ legislation and requested Lipton to use his good office to improve the package by enhancing the geographic and product coverage.
The US delegation was informed that Pakistan would be hosting the next TIFA meeting and one of the important initiatives would be the visit of the representatives of major US buying houses to the country.