TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Trade Acronyms


See Supply Access.


See Market Access.


The process of adhering to a legal instrument such as a bilateral or multilateral agreement or a treaty. In the case of the World Trade Organization, the prospective WTO member submits a communication to the director general of the WTO indicating its desire to accede to the WTO under Article XII of the WTO Agreement. A working party is then established to examine the application for accession. Any member of the WTO may join the working party. The prospective member is required to respond to a series of inquiries by the working party as it examines the prospective member's trade regime. Once this examination is sufficiently advanced, the prospective member enters into accession negotiations with the working party to determine the concessions (trade liberalization) or other specific obligations it must undertake before accession is concluded. The draft Protocol of Accession prepared by the working party contains the terms of accession agreed to by the prospective member and the working party. After negotiations have been concluded, a package of documents setting forth the working party's report, the draft protocol, and a schedule of specific commitments is submitted for approval to the WTO Council/Ministerial Conference. The Protocol of Accession enters into force once the General Council/Ministerial Conference adopts the package. Thirty days after the protocol is accepted by the applicant, it becomes a WTO member. See also Concession; Contracting Party; Grandfather Clause; Protocol of Accession; World Trade Organization.


African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries associated with the European Community under the Lomé Convention. See also Developing Countries; European Community; European Union; Lomé Convention; Reverse Preferences; Tropical Products.


See Linear Reduction of Tariffs.


See Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.


The duty collected under a specific tariff or a compound tariff expressed as a percentage of the value of the imported item. Since a specific tariff is calculated on the basis of units (of volume or weight), rather than value, and since prices can change over time, the ad valorem equivalent could differ when calculated for different time periods. See also Ad Valorem Tariff; Compound Tariff; Specific Tariff.


A tariff calculated "according to value," or as a percentage of the value of goods cleared through customs; for example, 15 percent ad valorem means 15 percent of the value of the entered merchandise. See also Specific Tariff; Tariff; Valuation.


See Value-Added Tax.


A measure of the net increase in capital inflows into assisted developing countries as contrasted with a diversion from one form or target of development assistance to another. See also Bilateral Aid; Economic Development; Multilateral Aid; Official Development Assistance; Soft Loan; Transfer Payments.


The process of adaptation in an economy that is triggered, for example, by technological developments, changes in demand, or shifting external trade patterns. The changes may involve a reallocation of labor and capital away from uncompetitive products or sectors and into new or other lines of production in which the economy is competitive. In the specific sense used by the International Monetary Fund, adjustment means the adoption of macroeconomic policies, including monetary, fiscal, and exchange rate policies, to adjust the level of domestic economic activity to conditions prevailing in the world economy, with the objective of correcting balance-of-payments disequilibria and pursuing domestic objectives such as lower inflation. See also Adjustment Assistance; Balance of Payments; Competitive; Conditionality; Devaluation; International Monetary Fund; Safeguards; Structural Change; Technology.


Financial, technical, or other assistance to firms, workers, and communities to help them cope with difficulties arising from increased import competition or other changes in the economic environment. The objective of the assistance is usually to help an industry to become more competitive in the same line of production or to move into other economic activities. The aid to workers can take the form of training (to qualify the affected individuals for employment in new or expanding industries), relocation allowances (to help them move from areas characterized by high unemployment to areas where employment may be available), or unemployment compensation (to tide them over while they are searching for new jobs). The aid to firms can take the form of loans or guarantees of loans, tax benefits or other assistance. The benefits of increased trade to an importing country generally exceed the costs of adjustment, but the benefits are widely shared and the adjustment costs are sometimes narrowly - and some would say unfairly - concentrated on a few domestic producers and communities. Both import restraints and adjustment assistance can be designed to reduce these hardships, but adjustment assistance - unlike import restraints - allows the economy to enjoy the full benefits of lower-cost imported goods. Adjustment assistance can also be designed to facilitate structural shifts of resources from less productive to more productive industries, contributing further to greater economic efficiency and improved standards of living. See also Adjustment; Agreement on Safeguards; Agreement on Textiles and Clothing; Article 19 (GATT Article XIX); Codes of Conduct; Competitive; Concession; Escape Clause; Market Access; Protectionism; Quantitative Restrictions; Section 201; Structural Change; Trade Act of 1974.


In calculating the margin in an antidumping determination, modifications made to both the U.S. price and the normal value to ensure that price comparisons between the two are not distorted by factors extraneous to the central issue of price discrimination between markets. Differences in price for which adjustments are made include differences in physical characteristics, quantities sold, packing and delivery costs, circumstances of sale, and applicable indirect taxes and duties. See also Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994; Anti-Dumping Code; Dual Pricing; Dumping; Market Disruption; Normal Value; Uruguay Round Agreements Act.


A review that may be conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, 12 months after an antidumping or countervailing duty order is issued in an investigation, to determine whether entries should be liquidated at the duty rate specified in the order - which is, in effect, an estimate of the final duty rate - or at a different rate. Thereafter, annual reviews may be conducted on request to determine whether the existing duty rate should be modified. Under certain circumstances, the Department of Commerce may determine, on the basis of a series of administrative reviews, that an order should be revoked entirely. See also Countervailing Duties; Dumping; Liquidation; Sunset Review; Suspension of Liquidation.


See Developing Countries; Newly Industrializing Countries.


A group of eminent individuals appointed by the U.S. president to advise him on trade agreements and trade policy. See also United States Trade Representative.


Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, which institutionalizes a process for strengthening U.S. relations with African countries and provides incentives for African countries to achieve political and economic reform and growth. The act offers designated beneficiary countries in sub-Saharan Africa duty-free and quota-free U.S. market access for essentially all products through the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, provides additional security for investors and traders in African countries by ensuring GSP benefits for eight years, and eliminates the GSP competitive needs limitation for African countries. In addition, the act establishes a U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum to facilitate regular trade and investment policy discussions, and it promotes the use of technical assistance to strengthen economic reforms and development, including assistance to strengthen relationships between U.S. firms and firms in sub-Saharan Africa. See also Generalized System of Preferences.


The unit within the U.S. government responsible for the administration of U.S. bilateral development assistance programs. USAID also participates actively in the development of other U.S. policies and programs related to Third World economic development. See also Bilateral Aid; Developing Countries; Economic Development; Official Development Assistance.


A WTO agreement establishing rules and commitments to ensure a fair and market-oriented system for trade in agricultural goods and products. The Agreement on Agriculture consists of rule-based commitments, as well as specific quantitative commitments to reduce protection and support of agricultural goods and products over a specified implementation period. Commitments assumed by members cover the following areas: market access in the agricultural goods and products sector; members' support of their own domestic producers; export competition; adherence to certain rules; the developmental needs of certain countries, such as net-food-importing developing countries; food security; and environmental protection. The products covered under this agreement are those listed in chapters 1 to 24 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), including hides and skins, certain animal or vegetable fibers, and other products, but excluding fish and fish products. See also Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures; Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade; Harmonized System; Quantitative Restrictions; Standards; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement resulting from the Uruguay Round that implements Article VI of GATT 1994, the set of antidumping rules that gives member countries the right to defend themselves against dumped imports while preserving proportionality and avoiding abuse. The agreement was negotiated to address the concern, on the one hand, that some member countries have misused the antidumping rules and, on the other, that exporting countries have circumvented the antidumping measures of the importing countries. The agreement sets forth in greater detail than its predecessor, the 1979 Anti-Dumping Code, the circumstances under which antidumping measures can be applied provisionally and can be terminated. It also provides more precise rules for calculating an antidumping margin and additional rules concerning the submission of information in antidumping inquiries and the evidentiary threshold that must be met in order to warrant an investigation. See also Anti-Dumping Code; Codes of Conduct; Dumping; Sunset Review; Uruguay Round; Uruguay Round Agreements Act; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement that is the successor to the Customs Valuation Code negotiated during the Tokyo Round to establish a uniform, fair, and predictable international system for the valuation of goods for customs purposes and to preclude the arbitrary use of national valuation systems as nontariff barriers to trade. The Customs Valuation Code established the "transaction value" - or the price actually paid or payable for imported goods plus certain permitted additional costs - as the primary method of valuation by customs officials, and it specified a hierarchy of other methods to be employed when the transaction value method could not be used. Like its predecessor, the WTO agreement applies only to the valuation of imported goods with respect to which ad valorem duties are levied. It does not set forth obligations concerning valuation in connection with export duties, quota administration, internal taxation, or foreign exchange control. See also Codes of Conduct; Customs; Customs Classification; Free Zone; Imports; Liquidation; Minimum Valuation; Most-Favored-Nation Treatment; Suspension of Liquidation; Tariff; Tariff Schedules; Tokyo Round; Uruguay Round; Valuation; World Customs Organization; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement implemented to prevent import licensing procedures from unnecessarily reducing or distorting international trade flows. The agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1995, is a successor agreement to the Tokyo Round Import Licensing Code, which entered into force on January 1, 1980. During the Uruguay Round, the Import Licensing Code was revised to strengthen the disciplines on transparency and notification. Whereas the Import Licensing Code obligated only those countries that had signed and ratified it, the WTO Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures is a multilateral agreement binding on all WTO members. Under the agreement, WTO members must ensure that their import licensing procedures conform to the relevant provisions of the GATT, are applied neutrally, and are implemented fairly and equitably. See also Codes of Conduct; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Licensing; Licensing Code; Nontariff Barriers; Tokyo Round; Transparency; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement governing the use by private sector buyers and sellers of preshipment inspection to ensure that the quantity and quality of goods to be traded conform to the specifications of the sales contract. This agreement balances the need of parties importing goods from other countries to protect their interests by preventing commercial fraud, customs fraud, evasion of customs duties, capital flight, and other harmful activities with the potentially trade-distorting effects of preshipment inspection. The agreement applies to all government-mandated preshipment inspection activities carried out on the territory of members (that is, in the country of export prior to exportation). See also Transparency; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement addressing the rules that determine the country of origin of an imported product. Rules of origin play an important role in international trade due to the fact that the application of duties and other restrictions on entry often depends on the deemed source of the imports. The agreement provides for harmonization in the practices of WTO members in determining the country of origin of products. See also Customs and Administrative Entry Procedures; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement that was concluded during the Uruguay Round and is the successor to the Agreement on Interpretation and Application of Articles VI, XVI, and XXIII of the GATT, usually referred to as the Subsidies Code. The Subsidies Code was concluded in 1979 during the Tokyo Round. The foundation of the 1979 Subsidies Code was the principle that subsidies provided by a government to a domestic industry should not be permitted to harm or threaten harm to one's trading partners. Hence, the Subsidies Code permitted signatories to impose specific duties on imports to offset - or "countervail" - the benefits of subsidies to producers or exporters provided by the government of the exporting country. The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures builds on these principles, disciplining both the use of subsidies and the actions that countries can take to counter the effects of subsidies. Under the agreement, a member country can use the WTO's dispute settlement procedures to seek the withdrawal of the subsidy or the removal of its adverse effects, or it can launch its own investigation and ultimately assess an extra, countervailing duty on subsidized imports that are injuring domestic producers. For the first time, the agreement provides a definition of a subsidy that distinguishes between prohibited, actionable, and non-actionable subsidies. As part of this definition, it introduces the concept of a "specific" subsidy - that is, a subsidy available only to an enterprise, industry, group of enterprises, or group of industries in the country that gives the subsidy, rather than generally to all industries or enterprises in the subsidizing country. A specific subsidy can be a domestic or an export subsidy. The agreement disciplines only specific subsidies. It applies to agricultural goods as well as industrial products, except when the subsidies conform with the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. Unlike the 1979 Subsidies Code, which was binding only on those GATT contracting parties that affirmatively acceded to it, the new agreement is multilateral and binding on all WTO member countries. See also Agreement on Agriculture; Bounties; Codes of Conduct; Countervailing Duties; Domestic Subsidy; Export Subsidy; Illustrative List; Subsidy; Sunset Review; Tokyo Round; Trade Agreements Act of 1979; U.S. International Trade Commission; Uruguay Round; Uruguay Round Agreements Act; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement to ensure that the standards and regulations imposed by governments and governmental authorities do not unnecessarily restrict or distort trade. This agreement recognizes that the need to comply with different foreign technical regulations and standards has an impact on international trade, and that the high costs involved in such compliance may discourage manufacturers from trying to sell abroad. The agreement imposes rules to reduce the risk that technical standards and regulations are adopted and applied simply to protect domestic industries. The purpose of the agreement mirrors that of its predecessor, the 1979 Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, which was negotiated during the GATT Tokyo Round. The 1979 TBT Agreement, also called the Standards Code, laid down the rules for the preparation, adoption, and application of technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures. The WTO TBT Agreement strengthens and clarifies the provisions of the 1979 agreement. The WTO agreement is accompanied by a Code of Good Practice, which is designed to serve as a guide for bodies that prepare, adopt, and apply standards. See also Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures; Agreement on Government Procurement; Codes of Conduct; Customs and Administrative Entry Procedures; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Government Procurement Policies and Practices; Licensing; Most-Favored-Nation Treatment; Nontariff Barriers; Packaging, Labeling, and Marking Regulations; Quarantine, Sanitary, and Health Laws and Regulations; Standards; Technical Regulations; Tokyo Round; Transparency; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement concluded during the Uruguay Round that superseded the Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA). The MFA established quotas limiting imports of certain textile products into countries whose domestic industries were experiencing serious harm from rapidly increasing imports. The MFA and its predecessor, the Long-Term Agreement on International Trade in Cotton Textiles, provided the rules for the system of import quotas that has existed since the early 1960s and is being phased out by the ATC. These three agreements have provided for an internationally agreed derogation from GATT and, later, WTO rules, permitting an importing signatory country to impose quantitative import restrictions on textile imports when it considers such restrictions, even though contrary to GATT (or WTO) rules, necessary to prevent market disruption. Whereas the MFA did not include all GATT countries but could include non-GATT countries, the ATC is part of the Uruguay Round results and thus applies to all WTO members but not to other countries, even if they were parties to the MFA. Accordingly, non-WTO members that export textiles will not have the benefit of the ATC's phase-out restrictions unless they become members. Under the ATC, which entered into force in 1995, the textiles sector will be brought into full compliance with the GATT/WTO rules by 2005. Under the ATC, quotas will come to an end and importing countries no longer will be able to discriminate between exporters. The ATC, the only WTO agreement that phases itself out of existence, will cease to exist after 2005. See also General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Market Disruption; Multi-Fiber Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles; Quantitative Restrictions; Safeguards; Sensitive Products; Textiles; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement establishing a set of rules, principles, and benchmarks for WTO members to ensure that sanitary and phytosanitary trade measures are justified and do not constitute disguised barriers to international trade. This agreement clarifies which factors a member may take into account when imposing health protection measures. Unlike the Agreement on Agriculture, the SPS Agreement does not impose any quantitative and legally binding schedules of concessions. Prior to the negotiation of the SPS Agreement, many food safety, animal, and plant health regulations fell within the scope of the 1979 Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), also called the Standards Code. The SPS Agreement complements the new WTO Agreements on Agriculture and on Technical Barriers to Trade by addressing measures to protect human, animal, and plant life and health. See also Agreement on Agriculture; Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade; Nontariff Barriers; Quarantine, Sanitary, and Health Laws and Regulations; Standards; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement that obligates countries to provide minimum standards of intellectual property (IP) protection in national laws and to enforce minimum standards for protecting intellectual property. The TRIPS Agreement covers copyright and related rights (that is, the rights of performers, producers of sound recordings, and broadcasting organizations); trademarks including service marks; geographical indications including appellations of origin; industrial designs; patents including the protection of new varieties of plants; the layout-designs of integrated circuits; and undisclosed information, including trade secrets and test data. The agreement sets out the minimum standards of protection to be provided by each member with respect to each of the main areas of intellectual property covered by the agreement. The agreement sets these standards by requiring, first, compliance with the substantive obligations of the main conventions of the World Intellectual Property Organization, as well as the most recent versions of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Bern Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, as well as with the Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Integrated Circuits (1989). With the exception of the provisions of the Bern Convention on moral rights, all the main substantive provisions of these conventions are incorporated by reference and thus become obligations under the TRIPS Agreement between member countries. The second main set of provisions deals with domestic procedures and remedies for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, a feature not found in other multilateral IP agreements. In addition, the agreement makes disputes between WTO members concerning TRIPS obligations subject to the WTO's dispute settlement procedures. Finally, the agreement provides for certain basic principles, such as national and most-favored-nation treatment. Developed country members were required to have implemented all of the obligations under the agreement as of January 1, 1996, while developing country members were permitted a transitional period of an additional four years (until January 1, 2000); least-developed country members are permitted a transitional period of an additional 10 years (until January 1, 2006) to comply with the obligations of the agreement. In addition, developing countries that, as of 1995, were without patent protection for a given area of technology, especially pharmaceutical or agricultural chemical inventions, have an additional five-year transition (until January 1, 2005) before being required to provide such protection. See also Bern Convention; Commercial Counterfeiting; Copyright; Dispute Settlement; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Intellectual Property; Knowledge-Based Industry; Most-Favored-Nation Treatment; National Treatment; Patent; Process Patent; Property; Section 337; Special 301; Technology; Technology Transfer; Trademark; Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods and Services; Uruguay Round; Uruguay Round Agreements Act; World Intellectual Property Organization; World Trade Organization.


A WTO agreement that recognizes that measures and regulations that governments impose on investments and investors can reduce or distort international trade and may function as disincentives for investors in situations where investment is needed. This agreement clarifies disciplines established in the GATT 1947 provisions that are applicable to certain aspects of investment laws. The objectives of the TRIMS Agreement, as set forth in its preamble, include "the expansion and progressive liberalization of world trade and to facilitate investment across international frontiers so as to increase the economic growth of all trading partners, particularly developing country members, while ensuring free competition." The agreement applies to investment measures related to trade in goods only. Under TRIMS, WTO member countries agreed to eliminate investment measures that limit or force certain types of investments, to offer national treatment to foreign investors, and to eliminate quotas and other restraints. The agreement restricts the use of three TRIMS requirements: local content requirements (specifying that some minimum level of local resources be used in operations at foreign-owned plants), trade-balancing requirements (specifying that an investor not import more than a certain proportion of exports, or that a minimum trade surplus be maintained), and foreign exchange balancing requirements (limiting the importation of products used in local production by restricting a firm's access to foreign exchange to an amount related to its exchange inflows). See also Convertibility; Exchange Controls; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Investment Performance Requirements; Trade-Related Investment Measures; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


See Section 22.


See Public Law 480.


A code of conduct negotiated under the auspices of GATT during the Tokyo Round (replacing an earlier code negotiated during the Kennedy Round) that establishes both substantive and procedural standards for antidumping proceedings in signatory countries. The Anti-Dumping Code was implemented in the United States through the U.S. Trade Agreements Act of 1979, which repealed the Anti-Dumping Law of 1921 and inserted new antidumping provisions in the Tariff Act of 1930 providing for the imposition of special duties equivalent to the margin of dumping of imported merchandise. Goods imported into the United States are considered dumped when they are found to have been sold at less than fair value and to have caused or threatened to cause material injury to a U.S. industry. The WTO Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994 clarifies and refines certain provisions of the 1979 Anti-Dumping Code. See also Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994; Codes of Conduct; Dumping; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Kennedy Round; Sunset Review; Tokyo Round; Trade Agreements Act of 1979; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


See Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994; Anti-Dumping Code; Dumping; Sunset Review.


A term used to describe a policy or action that seeks to curtail monopolistic power within a market. See also Export Trading Company; Market; Monopoly; Restrictive Business Practices; Webb-Pomerene Act.


See Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.


See Multi-Fiber Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles; Textiles.


See Valuation.


An arrangement through which two parties to a dispute agree to the appointment of an impartial chairperson or a group of competent persons to decide the disputed issue and agree in advance to abide by the decision rendered. See also Dispute Settlement; Panel of Experts.


A GATT provision that prohibits the use of quantitative restrictions (for example, embargoes, bans, quotas, restrictive licenses) to regulate imports and exports, except under certain specific conditions or unless provided for in some other GATT article. See also General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Quantitative Restrictions; Section 22; Section 201.


See Balance-of-Payments Consultations.


A GATT safeguard provision that prescribes when emergency action (for example, restrictive measures other than normal tariffs) can be taken against imports that are injuring domestic producers. See also Agreement on Safeguards; Agreement on Textiles and Clothing; Article 11 (GATT Article XI); Codes of Conduct; Competitive; Concession; Escape Clause; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Import Relief; U.S. International Trade Commission; Market Access; Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988; Orderly Marketing Agreements; Protectionism; Quantitative Restrictions; Safeguards; Section 22; Section 201; Section 406; Selective Quotas; Sensitive Products; Specific Limitations on Trade; Trade Barriers; Trade Act of 1974; Voluntary Restraint Agreements.


See Concession.


See Article 23 (GATT Article XXIII)


Along with Article XXII, the provision of the GATT that requires GATT members to consult with each other concerning disputes that arise under GATT rules. Article XXIII also sets the basic provisions for resolving disputes that cannot be settled through bilateral consultations. See also Consultations; Dispute Settlement; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Quantitative Restrictions; Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.


Regulates how customs unions and free trade areas may be formed as exceptions to the most-favored-nation provisions of Article I. Provides for notification to the GATT contracting parties, review in a Working Party, and the application of substantive criteria to the formation of such regional trade associations. See also Customs Union; Free Trade; Free Trade Area Agreement; Most-Favored-Nation Treatment.


See Enabling Clause; Most-Favored-Nation Treatment.


See Concession.


See Border Tax Adjustments; Countervailing Duties; Dumping.


See Article 11 (GATT Article XI); Quantitative Restrictions; Section 22; Section 201.


See Quantitative Restrictions.


See Quantitative Restrictions.


See Article 19 (GATT Article XIX); Escape Clause; Safeguards..


See Balance-of-Payments Consultations.


See Border Tax Adjustments; Export Subsidy.


See Quantitative Restrictions.


See Quantitative Restrictions.


See Quantitative Restrictions.


See Article 24 (GATT Article XXIV); Customs Union; Free Zone.


See Codes of Conduct.


See Article 23 (GATT Article XXIII); Consultations; Dispute Settlement.


See Part IV of the GATT.


A series of economic events that resulted in the severe devaluation of a number of Asian currencies and destabilization of a number of Asian economies, most notably Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The Asian economic crisis caused shock waves throughout the global economy. Many economists consider that one factor in the region's difficulties was its economic success during the preceding decade, which featured robust economic growth, increasing capital inflows, and macroeconomic management. The substantial capital inflows into the region from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s led to rapid economic expansion that, in turn, resulted in increased investment and increased local lending based on unrealistically optimistic expectations and economic projections. Structural and policy distortions created fundamental imbalances in these economies that led to the market corrections experienced during the crisis. Some also believe that the macroeconomic difficulties facing the region were not as severe as many regional and international investors feared and that the crisis was exacerbated by the overreaction of market participants, who withdrew investment monies from the region. By 1999, capital inflows into the region had begun to increase again, and there were other signs that economies most directly affected by the crisis were beginning to recover. See also Adjustment; Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation; Balance of Payments; Currency; Devaluation; Electronic Commerce; International Monetary Fund; Market Economy; Market Forces; Money; Newly Industrializing Countries.


See ACP Countries; European Community; Lomé Convention.


See European Community.


An international customs document that is recognized as an internationally valid guarantee and may be used in lieu of national customs documents and as security for import duties and taxes to cover the temporary admission of goods and sometimes the transit of goods. The ATA (Admission Temporaire - Temporary Admission) Convention of 1961 authorized the ATA Carnet to replace the ECS (Echantillons Commerciaux - Commercial Samples) Carnet that was created by a 1956 convention sponsored by the Customs Cooperation Council. ATA Carnets are issued by National Chambers of Commerce affiliated with the International Chamber of Commerce, which also guarantees payment of duties in the event of failure to re-export. See also Codes of Conduct; Consular Invoice; Consular Formalities and Documentation; Customs; Customs and Administrative Entry Procedures; Customs Classification; Imports; Free Zone; Licensing; Liquidation; Nontariff Barriers; Port of Entry; Suspension of Liquidation; Tariff; Transit Zone; Valuation; World Customs Organization; World Trade Organization.


A tabulation of a country's credit and debit transactions with other countries and international institutions. These transactions are divided into two broad groups: current account and capital account. The main items included are exports and imports of goods and services (the balance of trade), foreign direct investments, intergovernmental loans, transfer payments, capital inflows and outflows, and changes in official gold holdings and foreign exchange reserves. See also Adjustment; Balance of Trade; Capital Account; Current Account; International Monetary Fund; Invisible Trade; Quantitative Restrictions; Transfer Payments; Visible Trade.


A component of the balance of payments, the surplus or deficit that results from comparing a country's expenditures on merchandise imports with the receipts derived from its merchandise exports. See also Balance of Payments; Credit; Mercantilism.


Consultations in accordance with Article XV of GATT, which requires coordination between the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the International Monetary Fund to ensure that the trade and payments implications of any quantitative restrictions imposed for balance-of-payments reasons are fully analyzed within the respective jurisdictions of both organizations. Any contracting party that imposes such quantitative restrictions for balance-of-payments reasons is expected to hold consultations with other interested contracting parties. The framework agreement concluded during the Tokyo Round provided that any other trade restrictive measures imposed for balance-of-payments reasons should also be discussed in such consultations. See also Consultations; Contracting Party; Exchange Controls; Framework Agreement; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; International Monetary Fund; Prior Deposits; Quantitative Restrictions; Tokyo Round.


An organization established at the Hague Conference in January 1930 to serve as a forum for international monetary and regulatory cooperation, as a bank for central banks, as a center for monetary and economic research, and as agent or trustee to facilitate the implementation of various international financial agreements. Initial members included six central banks and a U.S. financial institution. Membership currently includes 45 central banks. See also Credit; European Central Bank; European System of Central Banks; Foreign Exchange; Inflation; Interest; Loan; Reserve Currency.


See Credit; Interest; Loan; Services.


The direct exchange of goods for other goods, without the use of money as a medium of exchange and without the involvement of a third party. See also Countertrade; Money.


An agreement that contains specific commitments on market access and national treatment taken by 70 countries under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services in the area of basic telecommunications, which includes, but is not limited to, voice services, packet-switched data transmission services, circuit-switched data transmission services, telex services, telegraph services, facsimile services, and private leased circuit services. See also General Agreement on Trade in Services; Services; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


See Par Value; Special Drawing Rights.


The International Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, signed at Bern, Switzerland, on September 9, 1886, with additional protocols and revisions signed in 1914, 1928, 1948, 1967, and 1971. The Bern Convention is a major multinational treaty concerning the scope of copyright protection to be afforded works prepared by foreign persons whose countries are signatories. It provides copyright protection in the form of national treatment and also requires member countries to provide certain minimum protections for specified types of works. For instance, it requires that literary works be protected for the life of the author plus 50 years and forbids imposition of formalities (for example, a copyright notice) as a condition of protection. The other major copyright treaty, the Universal Copyright Convention, is somewhat less protective of the rights of authors. After decades of refusing to join, the United States became a signatory of the Bern Convention in 1989. See also Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; Commercial Counterfeiting; Copyright; Intellectual Property; Knowledge-Based Industry; National Treatment; Property; Trademark; Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods and Services; World Intellectual Property Organization.


See Bern Convention.


An agreement or arrangement involving two sides or parties. See also Multilateral; Unilateral.


Development assistance provided directly by a donor country to a recipient country (as opposed to aid channeled through a multilateral institution). See also Additionality; Agency for International Development; Developing Countries; Least Developed Countries; Multilateral Aid; Newly Industrializing Countries; Official Development Assistance; Overseas Private Investment Corporation.


A formal or informal agreement involving commerce between two countries. See also Consultations; Trade Agreement.


A document giving evidence of indebtedness of one party to another, as, for example, a written order for goods that can be used as security for a loan to the supplier of the goods from a bank, or a security such as a Treasury bill. See also Euro-Dollars; Medium of Exchange; Security; Trade Agreements Act of 1934.


A provision in a trade agreement that no tariff rate higher than the rate specified in the agreement will be imposed during the life of the agreement. See also Bound Rates; Compensation; Concession; Tariff.


An interest-bearing certificate issued by a government or a business promising to pay the holder a specified sum on a specified date. A bond is a common means of raising capital. See also Capital Market; Credit; Customs Bond.


Imported goods stored in a bonded warehouse, usually after the owners of the goods have deposited a bond guaranteeing that the duty will be paid when and if the goods are withdrawn for domestic sale. See also Bonded Warehouse; Customs Bond; Free Zone.


A secure storage area in which goods subject to excise taxes or customs duties are stored pending payment of taxes or duties. See also Bonded Goods; Customs Bond; Free Zone.


Tariff rates resulting from GATT negotiations that are incorporated in a country's schedule of concessions and are thus enforceable as an integral element of the WTO regime. If a WTO member raises a tariff to a higher level than its bound rate, the major beneficiaries of the earlier binding have a right to receive compensation, usually in the form of reduced tariffs on other products they export to the country. If the beneficiaries do not receive such compensation, they may retaliate by raising their own tariffs against an equivalent value of the original country's exports. See also Binding; Compensation; Concession; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Retaliation; Tariff; World Trade Organization.


A refusal to deal commercially or otherwise with a person, firm, or country. See also Antiboycott Legislation; Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls; Embargo; Export Administration Act of 1979.


Loose, noncontainerized cargo imported in bulk, usually because of size or weight considerations (such as raw materials or oversized machinery). These shipments are often separated into individual lots and routed to different destinations and/or importers.


A meeting of central bank economists and other government officials, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, that took place in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in July 1944. The conference was convened to consider alternative proposals put forward by British and American financial experts relating to international payments problems, the economic reconstruction needs of Europe upon the conclusion of World War II, and the need to ensure stable exchange rates and free convertibility of currencies. The compromise solution negotiated at Bretton Woods led to the establishment of an International Monetary Fund and an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). The presumed need for an International Trade Organization was also informally considered at Bretton Woods. See also General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; International Monetary Fund; World Bank.


Borrowing ahead of receiving payment for a sale, or short-term credit to a customer pending his or her receipt of funds from another source. See also Credit.


An intermediary between a buyer and a seller in a highly organized market, as in the case of a stockbroker. See also Capital Market; Market; Security.


An EC-hosted ministerial meeting scheduled for Brussels, December 3-7, 1990, to conclude the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations. However, discussions broke down, and the conclusion of the round was postponed. See also GATT Ministerial Meeting of 1982; General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade; Montreal Ministerial; Punta del Este Ministerial; Seattle Ministerial; Uruguay Round; World Trade Organization.


See Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature.


A transporter (usually an ocean-going vessel) of large, heavy cargoes. "Dry" cargoes are usually mineral ores (such as phosphates or manganese), as opposed to "liquid hydrocarbons," a phrase that usually refers to petroleum.


See CFR.


A group of agricultural-exporting nations comprising Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Fiji, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, and Uruguay established to develop a common negotiating position for the Uruguay Round. See also Multilateral Trade Negotiations; Uruguay Round.


See Common Agricultural Policy.


That portion of a country's balance of payments that includes the inward and outward flow of money for investment and international grants and loans (public and private). See also Balance of Payments; Current Account.


Industrial products or other goods that are used in the creation of additional wealth, such as machine tools. Capital goods are sometimes called intermediate goods because they only indirectly satisfy human wants (as opposed to consumer goods, which satisfy human wants directly), and they are sometimes called producer goods, because they are used to produce other goods. See also Capital; Consumer Goods; Production.


The market for longer-term loanable funds. The capital market in a country is not one institution; rather, it includes securities exchanges, underwriters, investment banks, and insurance companies that canalize supply and demand for long-term capital and claims on capital, especially when concentrated in such major financial centers as New York City and London. The marketing of securities is an important element in the efficient working of a capital market. See also Capital; Developing Countries; Insurance; International Finance Corporation; Market; Security; Underwriter; World Bank.


A broad program to promote economic development through private sector initiative in Central America and the Caribbean islands. The goal is to expand foreign and domestic investment in nontraditional sectors, diversifying CBI country economies and expanding their exports. The major elements of the program are duty-free entry to the United States in perpetuity for a wide-ranging group of products; U.S. economic assistance to the region; continuing self-help efforts to improve investment climate and trade; a deduction on U.S. taxes for companies that hold conventions in qualifying CBI countries to increase tourism; and U.S. government, state government, and private sector promotion program support from other trading partners and from multinational development institutions. See also ACP Countries; Agency for International Development; Bilateral Aid; Developing Countries; Economic Development; Enterprise for the Americas Initiative; Liberalization; Lomé Convention; Multilateral Aid; North-South Trade; Official Development Assistance; Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Reverse Preferences; Soft Loan; Special and Differential Treatment; Tariff Quota.