Policy & Negotiation: | AB | CD | EF | GHIJ | KLMN | OPQR | ST | UVWXYZ |
Economic & Commercial Concepts: | ABCD | EFGH | IJKLMNOP | QRSTUVXYZ |
Trade Related Organizatons: | ABCDE | FGHIJK | LMNOPQ | RSTUVWXYZ |
US Trade Legislation: | A-Z |


Unfair Competition. See unfair trade practices.

Unfair Trade Practices. International usage tends to mirror terminology in US legislation, which applies the term to export-related practices that may be subject to countervailing duties (i.e., export subsidies by foreign governments) and antidumping duties (i.e., dumping by foreign firm), as well as certain anticompetitive practices such as discriminatory shipping arrangements. The term is not normally applied to the range of import-related non-tariff barriers, even though discriminatory elements may be involved. Determination of "unfairness" is left to administrative proceedings in the ~ importing country, subject to procedural requirements of the relevant GATT Codes. See competitive policies and practices ( Sec .II ).

Universal Copyright Convention (UCC). An international agreement on intellectual property rights negotiated under United Nations auspices in 1952, and revised in 1971. UCC member states agree to provide "adequate and effective" copyright protection and to accord national treatment to the works of nationals of other UCC signatories. See also Berne Convention.

Upstream Subsidization. An "indirect export subsidy," whereby a producer benefiting from a government subsidy sells a subsidized product to an unrelated company, which in turn performs further processing and then exports the product.

Uruguay Round. The eighth GAIT Round, launched in 1986 with 105 countries participating, and extended in December 1990 after failure to reach agreement by the original target completion date. In the Uruguay Round, efforts have focused on expanding GA TT disciplines to new areas, such as agriculture, intellectual property rights, investment, and services, as well as reducing barriers and strengthening international rules affecting market access, dispute settlement, safeguards, and enforcement measures under the GA TT .The Round derives its name from Punta del Este, Uruguay --the site of the Ministerial Meeting at which it was launched --but negotiations take place at GATT headquarters in Geneva.

User Fee. A fee for a service --such as the provision of customs operations by the government of the importing country --assessed on imported goods. GATT Article 8 requires user fees to be assessed on the basis of the estimated or computed cost of the service.

Valuation. See customs valuation.

Variable Levy. An import duty that is subject to alteration as world market prices change, designed to ensure that the imported product's price after payment of the duty will be no less that a predetermined minimum import price. As applied to imported farm products under the European Community's Common Agricultural Policy, the variable levy amounts to the difference between the EC target price for domestic producers and the lowest available prices on world markets. For imports of cattle, beef, and veal, the variable levy is applied in addition to normal customs duties. The amount of EC variable levies are adjusted for changes in world market conditions on a daily basis for sugar and grains; weekly for dairy products, beef, live cattle, veal, and rice; monthly for olive oil; and quarterly for pork, poultry , and eggs. See also supplementary levy .

Voluntary Export Restraints (VERs). A restraint agreement between governments negotiated within the context of the Multifiber Arrangement. See export restraints.

Voluntary Restraint Agreement (VRA). An arrangement by which an exporting country takes steps --usually by means of export quotas --to restrain exports that could cause economic dislocation in a key trading partner. VRAs are generally undertaken to forestall action by the importing country against imports that may injure or threaten the position of domestic firms. A VRA is less contractual in nature than an orderly marketing agreement, but with similar economic effects. Under a VRA the importing country does not apply restrictions to enforce the agreement (as under an OMA), nor is compensation involved as may be the case if the importer unilaterally raises tariffs. VRAs are not covered by GA n rules (see grey-area measures).

Waiver. A legal exception in GA n whereby a contracting party --with the approval of other GATT members --may maintain a specific practice that would otherwise violate the MFN principle or other GATT obligation.

Working Party. An ad hoc subgroup established by the GATT Council to address a specific trade policy issue, such as a country's application for accession to GA n or a dispute between two members. Unlike a GATT panel, members of a working party function as representatives of their governments.

Working Requirement. A term associated with the lapse of intellectual property protection --or the granting of compulsory licenses --if a patented invention, trademarked good, or copyrighted work is not produced or sold within a specified period of time.

World Economic Conference of 1927. The first attempt to negotiate a cooperative multilateral approach to problems facing the world trading system. Along with its subsidiary Conference on Import and Export Prohibitions and Restrictions, the Conference sought to counter the trend toward increased protectionism that had begun in Europe in the l870s and that by the 1920s was intensifying in all major countries. A code negotiated at the Conference regulating use of quantitative restrictions and other trade barriers fell short of necessary ratification by one country , while a tariff truce agreed at the Conference was effectively ended upon adoption of the Smoot-Hawley Act (Sec.IV) by the United States in 1930. Although unsuccessful, the Conference served ultimately as a progenitor of the GATT .

World Economic Conference of 1933. The second multilateral effort to deal with the global economic crisis of the interwar period, the Conference focused on European efforts to secure an international currency stabilization plan. Following collapse of the Conference, nations engaged in a period of competitive currency devaluations (Sec./) through the mid-1930s, further exacerbating trade tensions. The experience of both Conferences weighed heavily on the minds of the architects of the Bretton Woods System a decade later.

Yaounde Convention. See Lome Convention.

Zero-For-Zero. A term used in the market access negotiations in the Uruguay Round to denote a sectoral free-trade initiative that would essentially eliminate tariffs on an entire category of goods. Meeting in Tokyo in July 1993, the Quad trade ministers announced plans to negotiate zero-for-zero agreements in eight industrial areas including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, steel, construction equipment, farm equipment, furniture, beer, and distilled spirits.







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