"International Technology"

International Technology
N    1       28/01/2003


According to the US Census Bureau, retail sales in American clothing and accessory stores, including store selling footwear, grew by a significant +3.6% last October compared to the respective month of 2001. In the same period department stores registered a decrease of -0.8%, Furthermore, a study published from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia predicts a +2.6% increase of the US GDP for 2003, an inflation rate of 2.2% and an unemployment rate of 5,7%. Faster growth should return in the second half of 2003, especially during the last quarter. Industrial lobbies are increasingly pressuring the Bush Administration and Congress to request a new round of negotiations within the WTO. The year 2015 will be the deadline for the complete abolition of all customs duties on all manufactured goods world-wide, according to entrepreneurs. Their proposals include: the rapid reduction of all customs duties on non-agricultural products at a level not exceeding 8% by 2010; the progressive abolition of all customs duties by 2015; the abolition of all customs duties which are currently below 5% by 2010 at the latest. The US proposal would have a strong impact on developing countries or countries currently in a phase of transition which still use high trade barriers to protect heir domestic markets. In current trading exchange between these nations more than 70 billions Dollars are lost to customs duties. The main goal of the American initiative is revitalisation of US exports which have been damaged by the strength of the Dollar over the last few years, by the lack interest in the export market shown by numerous small local firms and by high customs duties in many areas of the world.

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