PUBLISHED ON September 5th, 2014

EAC plea on pending trade issues with EU

The East African Community (EAC) has requested an urgent meeting with the European Union (EU) to finalise outstanding issues in trade negotiations.

The talks planned to be held in a week’s time are expected to break a deadlock on the economic partnership agreement ahead of the October deadline.

Since January, the two trading blocs have held three negotiating sessions, one at ministerial level and two by senior officials (permanent secretaries).

According to a statement from the EAC, the talks have cleared some outstanding issues in dispute settlement and institutional arrangements.
The also finalised issues in Rules of Origin text and Annex on Product Specific Rules, and reached agreement on the Most Favoured Nation Treatment Clause.

But some key issues have yet to be agreed upon by the two blocs.

They include duties and taxes on exports, export subsidies on agricultural products, and relations with the Cotonou Agreement.

Other issues include good governance in the taxation and consequences of concluded customs union agreements.


Addressing the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) on Wednesday, a member, Ms Angela Charles Kizigha, said the EAC felt that failure to impose taxes on products destined for the EU was not good.

“The EAC would like to maintain policy space to impose export taxes as these may be necessary to foster development of domestic industry, maintain currency value stability, or when the EAC has special needs with regard to revenue, food security or environmental protection.”


The EAC has also expressed concern over the negative impact of EU subsidies on trade and agricultural production and requested the EU to exclude its member countries as destinations for all agricultural products benefiting from export support.

The community is, however, not in agreement with a proposal to cross reference the EPA to the Cotonou Agreement Articles: 11(b) (on countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction); 96 (on human rights, democratic principles and rule of law) and 97 (on corruption).

“Issues in these articles are not directly related to trade. Further, the cross-referenced issues have been dealt with substantively in the EAC Partner States’ domestic laws and international and regional instruments, and there is no need to include them in the EPA,” reads the statement.

Source URL: Daily Nation

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