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Honduras ratifies the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
Honduras deposited its instrument of acceptance of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) with the WTO Secretariat on 14 July 2016. With the acceptance by Honduras, the number of TFA ratifications now stands at 86, representing more than three-quarters of the ratifications needed to bring the Agreement into force. The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of Members have domestically ratified a Protocol of Amendment and notified the WTO of their acceptance of this Protocol.
On 8 June the WTO hosted an experience-sharing event to help Members identify best practices and the challenges faced by WTO Members in establishing or maintaining national trade facilitation committees. It was the first such event to discuss how best to implement specific commitments under the TFA. Experts from more than 20 countries and five international organizations made presentations at the workshop; the presentations and other information on the event are available here
The TFA has a huge potential to reduce trade costs thereby boosting trade between countries and raising world income. OECD studies find that the implementation of the TFA could reduce worldwide trade costs between 12.5% and 17.5%. Developing country exports are expected to grow between 14% and 22% while becoming more diversified. Companies are more likely to become more profitable which should encourage domestic investment. In addition, foreign direct investment is likely to be attracted to countries that fully implement the TFA. Finally, increased trade means better employment prospects for workers and greater revenue collection by the government.