HC Deb 16 July 2003 vol 409 c367W
Mr. Redwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what EU policy is on removing(a) tariff and (b) non-tariff barriers to trade between the EU and the developing world. [125745]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

The EU is committed to improvements in market access for all members of the WTO, with a particular emphasis on developing country priorities. In agriculture the EU has already proposed average reductions in tariffs of 36 per cent. In non agricultural goods, the EU has proposed that all tariffs should be reduced to a maximum of 15 per cent. The EU is also committed to the reduction and whenever possible elimination of non-tariff barriers ensuring that these do not replace tariffs as an obstacle to trade.

In addition, to assist the integration of developing countries into the world trading system, the EU's preferential access schemes allow many products from developing countries to enter the EU either duty free or with low tariffs. Under the Everything But Arms initiative, least developed countries have duty and quota-free access to the EU. African, Caribbean and Pacific countries also have preferential access to the EU market under the Cotonou Agreement under which most of their exports enter the EU duty free. Other developing countries enjoy preferential access under the generalised system of preferences.