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EU fury over bilateral trade pact delay

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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

EU fury over bilateral trade pact delay

The delay in the signing of economic partnership agreements by East African Community member states has aroused the ire of the European Union. The EU has described the situation as untenable and contrary to both EU law and World Trade Organisation rules. According to Mr Timothy Clarke, head of the EU Delegation in Tanzania, the deal needs to be sealed swiftly. “ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group) countries which signed EPAs enjoy free access to EU markets, but they also took legally binding commitments, while a number of others, including EAC countries, enjoy the same free access without any legally binding commitments,” said Mr Clarke. Talks meant to draft rules of engagement following the expiry of the earlier agreements have stalled over objection to Europe’s introduction of new trade-related issues.

Source: Daily Nation