WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration, trying to energize flagging global trade talks, announced Tuesday that it will seek the total elimination of all tariffs on manufactured goods over the next 13 years.
The proposal, which was unveiled by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Commerce Secretary Don Evans at a news conference, would phase out border taxes on nearly $6 trillion in annual world trade in nonagricultural goods. The taxes would be cut in a two-step process.
By 2010, all tariffs that are currently below 5 percent would be eliminated and all tariffs currently higher than 5 percent would have to be capped at no higher than 8 percent. Then, over the next three years, these remaining tariffs would be progressively lowered until they were eliminated in 2015.
The administration said the effort would benefit consumers.
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