The Office of the United States Trade Representative, Washington, May 9, 2005 – 2005/05/09
On its 2005 annual review of foreign compliance with telecommunications trade agreements, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) both identifies barriers facing U.S. telecommunications services and equipment providers, and lays out the specific telecommunications-related issues on which the office of the USTR will focus its efforts this year in order to open markets and expand trade opportunities and ensure the benefits of competitive telecommunications markets for all U.S. businesses.
In this regard, The 1377 Review identifies practices that interfere with these goals, and that have the potential to damage American companies, workers and consumers—practices which the USTR will work vigorously over the coming year to modify or eliminate. The 2005 annual review points argues that: « We are deeply concerned by the tepid commitment some of our trade partners have shown to competition in the telecommunications sector. This is especially true in countries such as China, India and Japan where national operators are already competing on a global level, but remain protected at home by relatively closed markets. For this purpose, « The United States will work vigorously to strengthen and enforce our trade rights in these countries and elsewhere ». The Review also identifies another issue that is particularly troubling to the United States: excessive interconnection rates for mobile networks in Germany, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Switzerland; restrictions on access to and use of leased lines in Germany and submarine cable capacity in India; excessive regulatory requirements in China, Colombia and India; burdensome testing and certification requirements in Mexico and Korea; and, limitations on suppliers’ choice of technology in China and Korea.
The USTR will continue its efforts to open markets and expand trade opportunities in telecommunications through a range of activities including: bilateral and multilateral engagement with trade partners to hold them accountable to fully implementing their existing commitments; negotiating and adopting strong disciplines to eliminate or prevent the emergence of trade distorting barriers; and where warranted, initiating dispute settlement action. Then, the USTR wants to make profitable WTO rules which provide pro-competitive guidelines for regulators to follow in ensuring reasonable access to networks and impartiality of regulatory processes. [05-16]