TIA seeks solutions to telecom trade barriers

Dec. 23, 2004 - Association files comments with the US Trade Representative, seeking solutions to trade agreement violations.

The Telecommunications Industry Association has filed comments with the US Trade Representative, asking it to find solutions to telecommunications trade barriers and trade agreement violations.

On Dec. 17, the TIA filed comments with the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in response to its annual Section 1377 inquiry regarding the operation, effectiveness and implementation of, and compliance with, telecommunications trade agreements. The USTR will conclude its review by March 31, 2005.

In addition, on Dec. 21 the TIA submitted a filing to the U.S. Department of Commerce in response to its call for comments on significant barriers to trade in goods, services and overseas direct investment. The TIA's filings addressed problems in Argentina, The People's Republic of China, India, Korea, Mexico and Russia.

Complaints varied by country, but included standards-related and conformity assessment problems in several of the above-listed countries, including China, Korea, Mexico and Russia. The TIA's comments on Argentina focused on the implementation of its 2001 "Buy National" law, while its comments on China highlighted a number of problem issues, including the country's lack of compliance with certain World Trade Organization (WTO) telecom services commitments, unreasonably high capitalization requirements for foreign investment in basic telecommunications services, the continued lack of an independent telecom regulatory authority, as well as the Chinese government's linkage of the issuing of 3G licenses to the "maturity" of the government's preferred standard, TD-SCDMA. The TIA's comments on India were focused on bottlenecks in India's cable landing stations and the resulting limited availability of undersea cable capacity to and from India.

While some of the complaints in both filings have been previously noted, the TIA hopes the U.S. Trade Representative, with the U.S. Department of Commerce, will work quickly to find reasonable solutions to these trade barriers and trade agreement violations.

The TIA is based in Arlington, Va. For more information visit www.tiaonline.org.


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