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Last Updated: Monday, 2 August 2004, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Trade agreement at a glance
The draft framework agreed by members of the World Trade Organisation on Sunday sets out principles for a legally binding treaty to liberalize international trade.

These are the key commitments of the framework.


  • Subsidy caps to be reduced by 20% in first year of agreement

  • 5% cap on subsidies which limit production

  • Export subsidies to be eliminated

  • Export credit guarantees - with repayment periods longer than 180 days - to be eliminated

  • Work towards eliminating trade-distorting practices in food aid and state-run export boards

  • Highest tariffs to be reduced the furthest, using an unspecified formula

  • Cotton industry issues to be tackled separately within negotiations

  • Developing countries to be given longer to implement tariff reduction

  • Least-developed countries to be exempt from tariff reduction, but must substantially increase level of binding commitments regarding future cuts

Industrial products [issues not yet agreed upon]

  • Tariffs to be reduced below a maximum ceiling, based on a future formula

  • Some tariffs to be eliminated or brought to fixed levels


  • Countries must submit offers to liberalize their service industries as soon as possible

  • No service sector should be excluded from liberalization

  • It should be made easier for people to work abroad

  • Special attention to be given to sectors of export interest to developing countries

Trade facilitation

  • Members must agree to improve co-operation between customs authorities and to start negotiations on "further expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit"

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