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Tuesday, 08 May 2012

Fears that MFN clause could hamper South-South cooperation

Adding to discussions on the EPA negotiations with the East African Community (EAC), the EU is pushing for a most-favored-nation (MFN) clause in the agreements. According to the journal The East African, the EU aims to restrain the bloc from making deals with emerging economies, particularly with China and India, as it would require that the EAC extend to the EU the same preferences granted to third parties.
EAC stakeholders said the clause could severely weaken South-South trade. James Ndahiro, Rwanda’s representative to the East African Legislative Assembly, recently stated that the MFN clause should be removed or modified to restrict its application to agreements with more developed economies.
Along with Mr. Ndahiro, there are those who claim that this clause would hamper South-South cooperation, the EU likely being the biggest beneficiary in terms of trade. At present, the MPs have called on the EAC to maintain a common position and ensure that no single EAC Member State signs the EPA independent of the rest.

Source: The East African