Missed Opportunities: The WTO Trade Policy Review for the East African Community
24 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2008
The East African Community (EAC), comprising Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, came into force on 7 July 2000 with a Common External Tariff (CET) established in January 2005. This Trade Policy Review (TPR) of the EAC is timely as all three countries had implemented significant trade liberalisation since the late 1980s while the CET represented an asymmetric change Kenya and Tanzania essentially reduced tariffs whereas Uganda increased tariffs. The TPR provides considerable information on the CET and on trade and related policies in each of the member countries. However, the EAC and the TPR missed a number of opportunities: the EAC included no coordinated export promotion or investment provisions, while the TPR says little on the potential for intra-regional trade, and nor does it address the position of the EAC in the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) being negotiated with the EU. This review concentrates on these omissions to explore the implications of the EAC for developments in trade policy in the region.
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