Glossary of Terms

Accession: The process of becoming a contracting party to a multilateral agreement such as the WTO. Negotiations with established WTO contracting parties, for example, determine the concessions (trade liberalization) or other specific obligations a non-member country must undertake before it will be entitled to full WTO membership benefits.

Applied Tariffs: An applied tariff is the rate of duty actually in effect at the border.

Anti-Dumping (AD): Additional duties imposed by an importing country in instances where imports are priced at less than the "normal" price charged in the exporter's domestic market and are causing material injury to domestic industry in the importing country.

APEC: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. APEC comprises 21 countries around the Pacific Rim that seek further Asia Pacific economic co-operation. Members are Australia; Brunei; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei (Taiwan); Thailand; United States; Vietnam.

Binding: A nation's commitment to maintain a particular tariff level or other legal restriction, i.e., binding it against increase or change.

Built-in Agenda: Refers to a set of activities to be undertaken in the WTO at different times in the future, including reviews and further negotiations, which are already inscribed in the various agreements annexed to the WTO Agreement, plus a series of activities that originate in ministerial decisions or declarations adopted along with the Final Act of the Uruguay Round at the Marrakesh Ministerial Meeting in April 1994.

Cairns Group: A coalition of fifteen agricultural exporting countries (Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Fiji, Paraguay and Canada) that develops proposals on agriculture during the Uruguay Round.

Canada-EU Action Plan: Signed on December 17, 1996, the Action Plan is designed to strengthen Canada-EU relations and consists of four parts: Economic and Trade Relations, Foreign Policy and Security Issues, Transnational Issues, and Fostering Links.

CCFTA: Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement. Implemented July 5, 1997.

CIBS: Canada's International Business Strategy. A blueprint consisting of a series of international business strategies spanning 27 key industry sectors. Created to ensure Government international strategies and initiatives reflect the real needs of Canadian industry.

CIFTA: Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. Implemented January 1, 1997.

CITT: Canadian International Trade Tribunal. A body responsible under Canadian legislation for findings of injury in anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases and the provision of advice to the Government on other import issues.

Countervailing Duties (CVD): Additional duties imposed by the importing country to offset Government subsidies in the exporting country, when the subsidized imports cause material injury to domestic industry in the importing country.

Customs Valuation: The appraisal of the worth of imported goods by customs officials for the purpose of determining the amount of duty payable in the importing country. The GATT Customs Valuation Code obligates Governments that sign it to use the "transaction value" of imported goods - or the price actually paid or payable for them - as the principal basis for valuing the goods for customs purposes.

Dispute Settlement: Those institutional provisions in a trade agreement which provide the means for settling differences of view between the parties.

EFTA: European Free Trade Association. When founded via the Stockholm Convention in May 1960, there were 7 members. Since its foundation the composition changed as new members joined and others acceded to the EU. Currently, there are four members: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

Expropriation: The seizure of private property by a foreign Government without just or reasonable compensation.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): The funds committed to a foreign enterprise. The investor may gain partial or total control of the enterprise. An investor who buys 10 percent or more of the controlling shares of a foreign enterprise makes a direct investment.

FTA: Free Trade Agreement. In particular, the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement that entered into force on January 1, 1989.

FTAA: Free Trade Area of the Americas. Proposed agreement between 34 countries of the Western Hemisphere to create a Free Trade Area by 2005, launched in Miami in December 1994.

GATS: General Agreement on Trade in Services. The first set of multilaterally-agreed and legally-enforceable rules and disciplines ever negotiated to cover international trade in services.

GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Since 1947, the multilateral institution overseeing the global trading system. Superseded by the WTO in January 1995.

GDP: Gross Domestic Product. The total value of goods and services produced by a country.

Intellectual Property (IP): A collective term used to refer to new ideas, inventions, designs, writings, films, etc. and protected by copyright, patents, trademarks, etc.

ITA: Information Technology Agreement. A WTO-based agreement endorsed by several Members that calls for the gradual elimination of most-favoured-nation tariffs on many information technology and telecommunication products.

Liberalization: Reductions in tariff and other measures that restrict world trade, unilaterally, bilaterally or multilaterally.

MFN: Most-favoured-nation treatment (MFN) (Article I of the GATT 1994) requiring countries not to discriminate between goods on the basis of country of origin or destination.

NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement, involving Canada, the United States and Mexico. Implemented January 1, 1994.

Non-Tariff Barriers (Measures) - (NTB): Government measures or policies other than tariffs which restrict or distort international trade. Examples include import quotas, discriminatory government procurement practices, measures to protect intellectual property. Such measures have become relatively more conspicuous impediments to trade as tariffs have been reduced during the period since World War II.

OECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris-based organization of industrialized countries responsible for study of and co-operation on broad range of economic, trade, scientific and educational issues.

Osaka Action Agenda: Adopted in 1995, the Osaka Action Agenda is the framework for implementing the Leaders' Declaration (adopted in Bogor, Indonesia, 1994) that APEC member economies would achieve the free and open trade within the region by 2010/2020.

Quota: Explicit limit on the physical amounts of particular products which can be imported or exported during a specified time period, usually measured by volume but sometimes by value. The quota may be applied on a "selective" basis, with varying limits set according to the country of origin, or on a global basis which only specifies the total limit and thus tends to benefit more efficient suppliers.

Rules of Origin (ROO): Laws, regulations and administrative procedures which determine a product's country of origin. A decision by a customs authority on origin can determine whether a shipment falls within a quota limitation, qualifies for a tariff preference or is affected by an anti-dumping duty. These rules can vary from country to country.

Subsidy: An economic benefit granted by a Government to producers of goods often to strengthen their competitive position. The subsidy may be direct (a cash grant) or indirect (low-interest export credits guaranteed by a Government agency, for example).

Tariff: Customs duties on merchandise imports. Levied either on an ad valorem (percentage of value) or on a specific basis (e.g., $5 per 100 kgs). Tariffs give price advantage to similar locally produced goods and raise revenues for the Government.

Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ): Two-stage tariff: imports up to the quota level enter at a lower rate of duty; over-quota imports enter at a higher rate.

Transparency: Visibility and clarity of laws and regulations.

Uruguay Round (UR): Multilateral trade negotiations launched in the context of the GATT at Punta del Este, Uruguay, in September 1986, and concluded in Geneva in December 1993. Signed by ministers in Marrakesh, Morocco, in April 1994.

WTO: World Trade Organization. Established on January 1, 1995, to replace the Secretariat of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, it forms the cornerstone of the world trading system.

WTO Appellate Body: An independent seven-person body that, upon request by one or more parties to the dispute, reviews findings in panel reports.

Zero-for-Zero: Refers to a market access agreement where all the participating countries eliminate the same barriers on the same products. Although it most frequently refers to tariff elimination, a zero for zero agreement could include elimination of non-tariff barriers as well.