A Trade Strategy for Guyana. Craig VanGrasstek Washington Trade Reports. Part I. Introduction . Mainstreaming trade policy into the development strategy.
Washington Trade Reports
Trade policy is merely one aspect of a broader national undertaking that will require a sustained and coordinated national effort to reduce poverty through economic opportunity.
Globalisation sets the context in which this strategy is to be pursued, presenting risks and opportunities.
“Trade” no longer means just the movement of goods across borders and border measures such as tariffs:
A few illustrative examples:
-- What Guyana should seek in its
-- What Guyana needs in order to
attain these objectives
MOFTIC’s investigative, coordinating, and negotiating resources should be allocated according to a hierarchy of objectives, with sectoral objectives in the lead.
In addition to tariffs (preferential and non-preferential), these include non-tariff barriers imposed for any reason, as well as intellectual property rights and barriers to trade in services. Guyana’s own tariffs and services commitments should be addressed in this same context.
These include trade disputes (either as complainant or defendant), defense against actions taken under trade-remedy laws (i.e., antidumping duties, countervailing duties, and safeguards), and trade-related issues such as intellectual property rights and investment.
Matters that do not bear a reasonably close relationship to the primary issues, involve a greater investment in capacity-building than may be justified, or that are best left in the hands of regional Caribbean institutions. These include such matters as the governance of international organisations and trade-related investment measures.
Guyana should make the most of existing preferential arrangements, seeking their continuation for as long as possible and even their expansion, but policymakers must be prepared for their gradual diminution in value and eventual disappearance altogether.
While negotiators should seek whenever possible to include principles of S&D treatment in these agreements, they must also be prepared to make specific requests for tariff commitments on products of interest to Guyana’s exporters, and to make reciprocal commitments for reductions in the country’s own tariff barriers.
MOFTIC has a key role in promoting the principles of competitiveness and compliance.
MOFTIC must be prepared to defend the country’s trade interests in regional and multilateral bodies
The most immediate need for MOFTIC is to enhance its analytical capacities in advance of trade negotiations.
Coordination between ministries, and between the government and the private sector, is essential at all stages of trade policymaking.
Negotiations with other countriesinvolve not only the exchange of commitments, but also the establishment of coalitions in larger negotiations. MOFTIC must work closely with like-minded countries in general and its CARICOM partners in particular.
The financial, physical, and human resources available to MOFTIC must be increased to a level commensurate with the ministry’s responsibilities.