Bali Trade Faciltation

Finally--Faster, Cheaper Movement of Goods

Finally-some very good news on the trade front! The long-stuck World Trade Agreement (WTO) arrangements on trade facilitation have been approved by just enough members to enter into force. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was struck in Bali in December 2013.  It is an unusual deal in the WTO that provides more flexibilities to members than we normally see.  But the overall objective is to move goods faster and cheaper across borders.  The bottom line benefits for growth could be larger than tariff cuts. Trade facilitation is not the sexiest sounding topic.  Eyes tend to glaze over whenever it gets mentioned.  But the ability to move cargo across borders faster and cheaper is extremely important.  Obstacles at the border are unpleasant for bigger firms and can be catastrophic for smaller companies. Consumers pay more for products than necessary.