Did Egypt receive WTO approval to enact import restrictions?
WTO APPROVAL for Egypt’s import restrictions? Egypt has applied for and received approval from the World Trade Organization to implement import restrictions under provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), a government source tells Al Masry Al Youm. As per WTO guidelines, countries facing balance-of-payment difficulty may apply for import restrictions under the GATT and GATS which includes raising tariffs and banning imports. The government is considering using this to shave USD 10 bn of its import bill by cutting imports of at least 15 non-essential goods, the source added. The move appears to be an escalation by the Ismail government of the import restrictions including its exporters registry, which imposes stricter quality control measures on imports of manufactured goods. A number of Egypt’s trading partners have reportedly complained to the WTO over the registry, the most vocal of which was the European Union. The block vowed to continue to mount pressure on Egypt to end the registry.