Structure Of The Chapter
Laws, rules, and standards
The political environment
The legal environment
Terms of access
Winds of change
Review Questions Answers
The legal/political aspect is very important in global marketing. "International law" can be defined as rules and principles that states and nations consider binding upon themselves. This raises two interesting characteristics of international law. The first is that "law" belongs to individual nations and international law only exists to the degree that individual nations are willing to relinquish their rights. The second is the lack of an adequate international judicial and administrative framework or a body of law which would form the basis of a truly comprehensive international legal system.
The international business is also subject to political decrees made by governments both in "home" and "host" countries. Home governments can apply pressure not to deal with disapproved parties. These measures may take the refusal to grant an export licence, or withdrawal of export guarantee cover. The host government may take measures like taxation, ownership controls, operating restrictions or expropriation.
The objectives of this chapter are:
· To give an understanding of the major factors which must be considered in the legal/political environment when planning to market globally
· To describe the "Terms of Access" and show the importance of these as vital elements of facilitating trade
· To give, in detail, a description of the main elements of the latest GATT Round
· To show the importance of legal/political aspects in global marketing.
The chapter begins by looking at the major factors which the marketer must consider in assessing vulnerability to the legal/political environment. It then goes on to describe in detail the major elements of the legal environment and Terms of Access, including both tariff and non tariff barriers. A major section of the chapter is devoted to the main provisions of the new GATT Round (1995) and an assessment of its impact on the global marketer.
All agricultural exports operate within an institutional environment, which is made up of a set of political, social and legal ground rules. These ground rules form the laws of all production, exchange and distribution and give rise to certain expectations and assurances about the actions of others, and give order and stability to the means of doing business. The most important rules in any system are those defining, allocating and enforcing property rights, and rules and conventions defining allowable and non-allowable forms of cooperation and competition (standards, rules of contract, fair trading etc). Well defined and enforced systems regarding property rights are essential. Articulated ownership and rights to use, trade and alter assets is vital to market development, since this assigns to individuals the right to benefits and losses in production and marketing activities.
Rules and conventions specifying entry conditions and boundaries on cooperative and competitive policies also facilitate exchange and coordination. The establishment and enforcement of standards can reduce transaction costs by increasing the available information to buyers and consumers. Standards may include basic weights, measures, quality grades and contract forms. Quality standards may be mandatory or voluntary and minimum or multiple grades. These standards help where trade is at a distance. The EU has a strict set of standards regarding horticultural products for example, including hygiene, quality and certificates of origin.
Licensing also facilitates marketing agencies and producers by reducing transaction costs. This occurs when the criteria for licensing revolves around asset holdings, financial solvency and so on. Performance standards are built in to maintain the licensing agreement.
Increasingly, consumer and trading bodies like the EU are enforcing the disclosure of more and more information. Particularly, these efforts revolve around packaging, labelling and information, for example, pesticides used on horticultural produce. As this trend to disclosure of information grows, along with the phenomenon of product liability, regulations regarding certain tests or inspection of products, handling and processing procedures may be enforced. So may ingredient and nutrition information. This is becoming an increasingly important issue as food products become more complex and varied. One of the problems with this noble effort to inform the consumer is that producers may lose their competitive differentiation advantage through divulging information to competitors.
The EU has gone to extraordinary lengths to inform the consumer, issuing directives on product descriptions and pricing. For example the EU directive on the pricing of cabbages runs to hundreds of pages and, what constitutes "chocolate" and a "sausage" to name but two products, is quite revealing. (see chapter on Product Decisions). The following case proves the point2.
The EU is also very strict, as is the USA, on food additives or flavour substitutes. It is particularly so for any substance which may have long term harmful effects. The EU produces "E numbers" standards for product additives and artificial colorants or flavourings.
Most issues in the legal/political environment centre around the following:-
i) "Institutional environment" - made up of political, social and legal ground rules within which the global marketer must operate.
ii) Property rights - patents, trademarks.
iii) Taxation - what taxation schemes will be faced abroad?
iv) Recourse - possibility and length of action with the possibility of image damaging necessitating arbitration.
v) Movement of equity and expropriation threats - often necessitating protocols or the signing of trade frameworking agreements.
Efforts to regulate the international legal system include individual country efforts, like the USA International Trade Commission and the GATT system. The GATT system is a set of norms and procedures which member governments have accepted to create order and predictability in international trade relations.
Case 4.1 When Is Chocolate Not Chocolate?
Sometime this year the European Union will have to decide at what point chocolate stops being chocolate. As defined by a 1973 European Commission directive, chocolate can only contain cocoa butter, cocoa solids, sugar and, in the case of milk chocolate, milk.
But Britain, Ireland and Denmark as well as new EU members Austria Finland and Sweden are exempted from the directive and allow manufacturers to use cocoa-butter equivalents (CBEs) such as palm oil in making chocolate.
Now, as the EU brings its policies into line, it is considering whether to allow up to 5 percent CBEs in chocolate manufacturing.
Chocolate producers stand to profit from relaxed standards, especially if the price of cocoa were to soar.
But the ingredients are less likely to be as much a sticking point as the labelling issue.
"What is to stop the chocolate industry from putting pressure on the EU to allow 10 percent or even complete substitution of cocoa butter and still call the remaining product chocolate?" said Gerrit Ribbink of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in The Hague. It's misleading to the consumer to use other ingredients and still slick to the name chocolate."
A British consumer spokesman said Britain, which is keen on keeping its current practice of using up to 5 percent CBEs, would oppose new laws that would change labelling standards.
"The UK would say the products are still called chocolate", he said.
For cocoa - producing countries, the packaging issue is secondary to the fear that an increase in the use of CBEs will lead to a drop in the demand for cocoa.
In a statement last October, the 13-nation Cocoa Producers' Alliance, which produces more than 90 percent of the world's cocoa, urged the European Union not to enact the proposals.
SNV estimated that if the EU allowed CBEs in chocolate, demand for cocoa could drop by anywhere between 100 000 and 200 000 tonnes. affecting up to 10 percent of world cocoa production.
What scares producers even more is that American chocolate manufacturers could lobby the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to follow the EU's example, and this could cut demand even further.
The three basic principles are:
i) nondiscrimination - each member country must treat the trade of all other member countries equally
ii) open markets which are encouraged by GATT through a prohibition of all forms of protection except customs tariffs, and
iii) fair trade which prohibits export subsidies on manufactured products and limits the use of export subsidies on primary products.
None of these principles is fully realized, simply because it is impossible to "police" all sovereign governments and dictate what is or is not tariff or non tariff discriminating. The need to systematically evaluate the legal/political environment cannot be overemphasized. This can be done by reference to the appropriate embassy or government agency or via magazines like "Foreign Affairs" and even by reference to a domestic agency in the host country.
Checks can be made on the legal/political system as to its ideology, nationalism, stability and international relations.
Ideology: A country's ideological leaning may be capitalism, socialism, a mixture or other form. In the last years remarkable changes have been taking place in the ideologies of many countries. The most dramatic example has been the collapse of the communist USSR and Eastern Europe and its replacement with market led policies and ideologies. Similarly, many African countries are abandoning their centrist leanings in favour of market led economies, for example, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Nationalism: Much was said about nationalism in the previous section. Whilst, primarily a phenomenon of the developing countries, Yugoslavia has shown it is not entirely so. Nationalism can lead to expropriation of foreign held assets.
Stability: Changes in regime, violence and cultural divisions based on language or other factors can lead to a very uncertain environment in which to conduct business. The current uncertainty in Liberia and Rwanda, the violence of Somalia and Yugoslavia increase the risk and diminish the confidence of doing business in these countries.
International relations: In general international relations have improved over the last twenty years. The development of GATT, NATO and the EU have gone a long way to reduce the element of "foreigness".
Expropriation is an extreme form of political action. It may occur for a number of reasons, including the desire to retain national assets, as a "hostage" situation in international disputes, for example the seizure of Union Carbide's assets after the Bhopal disaster in India. Other government activity, which affects capital investment includes joint venturing insistence and repatriation of funds. "Partnering" remains widespread (inward investment in tandem with a domestic company) as does restrictions on repatriation of funds. In Zimbabwe, for example, HJ Heinz, the multinational food agent, has entered into partnership with Olivine industries. Over time, even if initially the investment is not favourable, the Government may relax its conditions as it sees the benefits.
If expropriation is a real possibility then the investor should seek to minimise risk by:
i) relatively rapid depreciation of assets and repatriation of funds by manipulated transfer prices
ii) establish a local supply infrastructure so that any adverse action damages the host economy
iii) raise as much investment capital in the country as possible
iv) retain control of critical inputs and minimise local stocks of these.
However these measures may increase the risk of expropriation or reduce the potential success of the venture.
Many countries try to reduce perceived risk by promoting inward investment through the provision of tax breaks, free ports, enterprise zones etc., which are not tied as in partnering. The key is to look at what the disadvantages are. If the government mainly wishes to attract the mobile investor, or overcome say poor local skills, one has to assess what would happen if the scheme was withdrawn once the capital had been committed. Similarly if viability depends on incentives rather than real return on investment, the question is, is the venture really worth it?
Assessing political vulnerability
Political vulnerability should be assessed by using a systematic checklist. Such a checklist should include the following:
· The firm's own country's relations with other countries
· Sensitivity of the product or industry
· Size and location of operation - the bigger the more vulnerable
· Visibility of firm - is it high profile say via advertising?
· Host country's political situation
· Company behaviour - is it a good corporate citizen?
· Contribution to host country, for example, employment
· Localisation of operations
· Subsidiary dependence.
Depending on the answers to these checkpoints, the amount of risk, real or perceived, can be assessed and fed into the investment discussion.
Political factors give rise to a number of marketing implications. These include the following:
· Is the product ever subject to political debate regarding, say, adequacy of supply, for example, oil?
· Is the product a critical input for other industries, for example, cement?
· Is the product socially or politically sensitive, for example, food?
· Is the product of national defence significance?
· Is the product taking a disproportional amount of capital repayment?
· Is the product leading to the locus of control being held outside of the host country?
Again, the answers to these questions will enable the marketer to assess the degree to which the product being marketed has to be priced and resourced, so as to either avoid or reduce the risk of expropriation or other political reactions.
As indicated in the introduction to this section, the international legal framework is somewhat confused. Most controls or regulations revolve around export and import controls, transfer pricing, taxes, regulation of corrupt practices, embargoed nations, antitrust, expropriation and distribution of equity, patents and trademarks. The following touches on a number of these issues and in particular the import/export regulations (terms of access).
To many, the supreme body is the International Court of Justice, situated in The Hague, Holland. Here a number of international disputes may be taken for ultimate adjudication. However, a series of other bodies and legislation exists.
a) FCN (Friendship, Commerce and Navigation) and Tax Treaties primarily US based and concerned with giving protection of trading rights and avoiding double taxation.
b) IMF and GATT already discussed in the previous section and concerned with member nations international trade restrictions and dumping.
c) UNCITRAL (UN) international trade law commission set up with the intent to provide a uniform commercial code for the whole world, particularly international sales and payments, commercial arbitration and shipping legislation. Works with international chambers of commerce and Governments.
d) ISO (International Standards Organisation) often works with ILO, WHO etc. and contains technical committees working on uniform standards.
e) Patents and trademarks there is no such thing as international patent. The most important patent agreement is the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, first signed in 1983 and now honoured by 45 countries. The treaty provides that if a filee files in a signatory country within one year of the first filing, the filee will be afforded the date of the first filing for priority purposes.
A patent cooperation treaty (PCT) and a European Patent Convention are also in effect. The PCT has 39 countries including the USA, Japan and Brazil. The EU convention covers 15 countries and gives patent protection in all 15 if signified in one.
f) Air transport is covered mainly by IATA (International Air Transport Authority), ICAA (International Civil Aviation Authority) and ITU (International Telecommunication Company).
g) Codes of conduct, like those in the OECP, are not technical law but important. Member countries produce guidelines for multinational enterprises covering aspects of general policy, disclosure of information, competition, financing, taxation, employment and industrial relations.
h) Recourse arbitration is an attempt to reduce disputes by consultation. Some of the most widely used are the International Chamber of Commerce, the American Arbitration Association, the London Court of Arbitration and the Liverpool Cotton Exchange.
The implications of international law on marketing operations are legion. The principle ones are as follows:
· Product decisions - physical, chemical, safety, performance, packaging, labelling, warranty
· Pricing decisions - price controls, resale price maintenance, price freezes, value added systems and taxation
· Distribution - contracts for agents and distribution, physical distribution, insurance
· Promotion - advertising codes of practice, product restriction, sales promotion and,
· Market research - collection, storage and transmission of data.
Other areas affected are obviously in currency and payments but these will be dealt with in later sections.
One particular area where legal/political effects are felt by international marketers is in the terms of access, so the rest of this section will be given over to a discussion of these. The phrase "terms of access" refers to all the conditions that apply to the importation of goods from a foreign country. The major instruments covered by this phrase include import duties, import restrictions or quotas, foreign exchange regulations and preference arrangements.
Tariff systems provide either a single rate of duty for each item applicable to all countries, or two or more rates, applicable to different countries or groups of countries. Tariffs are usually grouped into two classifications:
Single-column tariff: The single-column tariff is the simplest type of tariff and consists of a schedule of duties in which the rate applies to imports from all countries on the same basis.
Two-column tariff: Under the two-column tariff, the initial single column of duties is supplemented by a second column of "conventional" duties which show reduced rates agreed through tariff negotiations with other countries. The conventional rates, for example those agreed upon by "convention", are supplied to all countries enjoying MFN (most favoured nation) treatment within the framework of GATT. Under GATT, nations agree to apply their most favourable tariff or lowest tariff rate to all nations who are signatories to GATT, with some substantial exceptions.
A preferential tariff is a reduced tariff rate applied to imports from certain countries. GATT prohibits the use of preferential tariffs with the major exceptions of historical preference schemes, such as the British Commonwealth preferences and similar arrangements that existed before the GATT convention; preference schemes that are part of a formal economic integration treaty, such as free-trade areas or common markets; and the granting of preferential access to industrial country markets to companies based in less-developed countries.
Types of duty
Customs duties are of two different types. They are calculated either as a specific amount per unit or specific duty, or as a percentage of the value of the goods or ad valorem, or as a combination of both of these methods.
Ad valorem duties: This duty is expressed as a percentage of the value of goods. The definition of customs value varies from country to country. Therefore an exporter is well advised to secure information about the valuation practices applied to his product in the country of destination. A uniform basis for the valuation of goods for customs purposes was elaborated by the Customs Cooperation Council in Brussels and was adopted in 1953. In countries adhering to the Brussels convention on customs valuation, the customs value is landed CIF cost at the port of entry. This cost should reflect the arm's-length price of the goods at the time the duty becomes payable. Major trading nations that are not members of the Brussels convention on customs valuation are the USA and Canada, which use FOB costs as the basis of valuation, and Japan, which uses CIF value.
Specific duties: These duties are expressed as a specific amount of currency per unit of weight, volume, length or number of other units of measurements; for example, fifty US cents per pound, one dollar per pair, twenty-five cents per square yard. Specific duties are usually expressed in the currency of the importing country, but there are exceptions, particularly in countries that have experienced sustained inflation. In the Chilean tariff, rates are given in gold pesos and, therefore, must be multiplied by an established conversion factor to obtain the corresponding amount of escudos.
Alternative duties: In this case both ad valorem and specific duties are set out in the custom tariff for a given product. Normally, the applicable rate is the one that yields the higher amount of duty, although there are cases where the lower is specified.
Compound or mixed duties: These duties provide for specific plus ad valorem rates to be levied on the same articles.
Anti-dumping dunes: The term dumping refers to the sale of a product at a price lower than that normally charged in a domestic market or country of origin. To offset the impact of dumping, most countries have introduced legislation providing for the imposition of antidumping duties if injury is caused to domestic producers. Such duties take the form of special additional import charges designed to cover the difference between the export price and the "normal" price, which usually refers to the price paid by consumers in the exporting countries. Anti-dumping duties are almost invariably applied to articles that are produced in the importing country.
Other import charges
Variable import levies: Several countries, including Sweden and the European Union, apply a system of variable import levies to their imports of various agricultural products. The objective of these levies is to raise the price of imported products to the domestic price level.
Temporary import surcharges: Temporary surcharges have been introduced from time to time by certain countries, such as the UK and the USA, to provide additional protection for local industry and, in particular, in response to balance of payments deficits.
Compensatory import taxes: In theory these taxes correspond with various international taxes, such as value-added taxes and sales taxes. Such "border tax adjustments" must not, according to GATT, amount to additional protection for domestic producers or to a subsidy for exports. In practice, one of the major tax inequities today is the fact that manufacturers in value-added tax (VAT) countries do not pay a value added tax on sales to non-VAT countries such as the USA while USA manufacturers who pay income taxes in the USA must also pay VAT taxes on sales in VAT countries. For example, EU imposition of a tax on imported horticultural products.
Adaptation to meet local requirements: The impact of adaptation to conform to local safety and other requirements can be crippling. For example, a Jaguar car made in the UK and sold in Japan would be three times its UK value. An alternative approach to the Japanese market would be to begin with the Japanese customer to identify the customer's wants and needs and to design a product for that market or to adapt the design to a world design that would fit the needs and wants in both the domestic and the Japanese markets. The implementation of such a program would involve major marketing investments by the Jaguar Motor Company in establishing distribution, advertising and promotion, training and developing organisations to market the car in Japan. It would also involve significant expenditures in designing the car to appeal to the needs of the Japanese customer.
The Kennedy Round and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
A major development of the 1960s was a series of agreements negotiated in the 1963-67 period, popularly known as the "Kennedy Round". During these negotiations, tariff concessions on nonagricultural products by the four largest industrial participants -the USA, the UK, Japan, and the EEC - averaged slightly more than 35 percent and covered about $20 billion of trade. On agricultural products, excluding grains, the average reduction by the major industrial countries amounted to about 20 percent and affected about one-half of the dutiable imports. Tariff reductions under the agreement took place in five equal instalments. The first was concluded on January 1, 1968 and the last on January 1, 1972. Over 60 thousand items were involved, representing approximately $40 billion in world trade annually.
At the conclusion of the Kennedy Round negotiations, tariffs on dutiable nonagricultural products averaged 9.9 percent in the USA, 8.6 percent in the EEC, 10.8 percent in the UK and 10.7 percent in Japan.
A second "Tokyo Round" of trade negotiations was undertaken by the 97 nation GATT in the 1970s. The target in these negotiations, which were still under way in 1979, was to achieve another 35 percent tariff reduction.
The latest GATT round, the so called Uruguay Round, was long held up over subsidy wranglings between the EU and the USA. However in early 1994, an agreement was concluded, but is yet to be ratified by all signatories.
When the European Union and the USA agreed to bury their differences (primarily over subsidies and trade in television and films) on Tuesday 14 December 1992, the way was cleared for the signing of the eighth General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in April 1994 in Morocco, only two days before the deadline. Whilst only 20 countries took part in the first round signed in Geneva in 1947, the current round boasts 116 participants. After failing to meet two deadlines in 1990 and 1991, many thought the Uruguay round would never be concluded. However, completion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the hints of the development of a similar trading block in the Asian-Pacific Region (APEC), helped focus the minds of the negotiators.
The principal aim in the early days of GATT was to cut tariffs and to this end average tariffs have fallen from almost 40% to 4.7% and now it will be as little as 3% if the Uruguay round succeeds. GATT has, over the years, gradually gone into other areas. The Kennedy Round introduced rules against dumping exports, the Tokyo Round made it harder for countries to manipulate technical standards, import licences and customs regulations in order to keep imports out. GATT basically stands to defuse trade tension between countries and smaller countries enjoy better access to larger countries' markets through GATT than they could if they had negotiated by themselves.
The new package, which covers ten times the value of the previous seven GATT Rounds put together, touches on more than four billion Sterling Pounds worth of International Trade, nearly twenty times the size of UK's annual budget. Economists reckon that the Uruguay Round will add about $270 billion to world income within a decade and boost global trade by more than 12%. The deal also creates a powerful international bureaucracy, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to police world trade and act as a bulwark against a return to the economic protectionism which proceeded war in the 1930s. But not all countries will gain. Africa will be a net loser, with Nigeria down by $1,0 billion. Other fears are that Africa will lose out on agricultural prices but textiles will get a boast.
The proposed effects are shown in figure 4.16
Figure 4.1 GATT who wins what
Largest number of world's 500 biggest global companies, and biggest services exporter ($2 billion benefit). Aerospace computer software, agriculture ($9.3 billion) and textile ($21.6 billion) sectors will also benefit. Total gain: $36 billion a year by 2002.
Set to gain from liberalisation in high tech goods, agriculture ($22 billion), manufacturing. Loses $0.5 billion through textile liberalisation. Total gain $27 billion a year by 2002.
3. Asian Tigers
Gain $3.3 through farm liberalisation, $1.8 billion in textiles, $1.1 billion in services. $7.1 billion overall gain.
World's biggest exporting block. Agriculture to see income increase of $30 billion, textiles ($27.2 billion), services ($7 billion), manufacturing ($7.6 billion) all set to gain-but prospects differ in each country. Total gain: $61.3 billion a year by 2002.
5. Eastern Europe
Textile services sectors likely to benefit. Former Soviet Union set to gain by some $13 billion from liberalisation of services. Total gain: $37 billion a year by 2002.
6. Australia/New Zealand
Large gains from liberalisation of agriculture ($1.0 billion), textile ($1.1 billion). Total gain $2 billion a year by 2002.
Set to gain $37 billion a year by 2002.
Set to gain $4.6 billion a year by 2002.
9. Africa (excluding Egypt and Libya)
The continent as a whole is set to lose $2.6 billion, with Nigeria alone down $1.0 billion. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia together lose $0.6 billion, and South Africa loses $0.4 billion.
10. South America
Set to gain $8.0 billion, with Brazil on its own up $3.4 billion.
The estimates take no account of social costs arising from the structural adjustment of economies in the wake of trade liberalisation, especially on Africa and the Far East.
The main provisions of the 450 pages long document covering 28 separate agreements are according to "The Economist" (December 1993)1; as follows:
· For the first time, a written set of rules to cover trade in services. A framework would exist for the liberalisation, not only of the $900 billion worth of services that cross borders, but also the $3 trillion worth of services that are provided domestically around the world - insurance, for example. The modest progress sought in this round would supply a platform for more liberalisation on future rounds.
· Protect all kinds of intellectual property, including patents, copyright and trademarks. That would be good for developed countries, which can collect higher royalties; but some of the developing countries might lose.
· Phase out over ten years of bilateral quotas which make up the multifibre arrangement for textiles and clothing. Tariffs will be cut. Developing countries should benefit.
· Forge a comprehensive agreement in GATT's biggest exception, farm trade. The details are unresolved, but the principles are clear: replace quotas with tariffs; and cut subsidies, especially export subsidies.
· Cut tariffs by at least a third. Tariffs imposed by the big economies on some important items will be eliminated altogether. Special attention has been given to a few very high tariffs and to helping developing countries by cutting tariffs on tropical products,
· Try to reform the rules against subsidies.
· Try to curb the misuse of rules on dumping. This will be difficult to enforce.
· Try to prevent the uses of voluntary export restraints-a sort of import quota which is operated by an exporter under pressure from an importing country. This is almost impossible.
· Tidy up rules on shipment, including inspection, customs, import licensing, technical standards and rules of origin.
· Phase out trade-related investment measures, such as the requirement that foreign investors buy supplies locally.
· Build on earlier agreements in government procurement and civil aircraft.
· Speed up the arbitration of disputes between GATT members. Countries will also find it harder to dissent from judgements.
· Clarify raft of GATT rules.
· Transform GATT from a provisional agreement (it was never ratified by America) into a full institution called the World Trade Organisation.
The cost of not agreeing a round will have been enormous. Suggestions are that it would cost the world economy some extra $213 - 274 billion each year and worst of all, lead to a gradual erosion of the open trade mechanism. Protectionism would once more raise its head and the whole multilateral trading system would eventually seize up and fall apart.
Whilst the multinationals in computers and electronics etc are definitely likely to gain most, for developing countries the principle effects are likely to be in farm products, textiles and in the effect of services and intellectual property provision. Whilst opening up the world's shopping malls for agriculture products, developing countries are likely to face fierce competition, often from each other, and so will have to operate at greater volumes with lower prices. What is sure is that tariffs will replace quotas, and subsidies, particularly export, will be cut. China and India may be the principle benefactors in textile products due to lower unit cost production structures. Imported products like drugs, film, box and television programmes are likely to be more expensive as manufacturers begin to apply the fine detail of the GATT services and intellectual property claims.
In January 1995, 81 countries and territories, including the United States, European Union and Canada, representing over 90% of international trade became founder members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which will absorb the 48 year old GATT over the duration of 1995. The new trade treaty came into force on 1 January 1995. In fact, Japan was the first country to ratify the agreement on 30 December 1994. It is expected that 50 more nations will eventually ratify the treaty and altogether some 155 states including Hong Kong and Macau will eventually sign up. Significantly, China is not included as it failed to convince the "big four" (USA, EU, Japan and Canada) that it had opened up its economy enough. The WTO will administer the new trade treaty and take its place along side the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as the "third pillar" of the post World War II economic system.
With the success of the Uruguay Round tariff negotiations, attention has naturally turned to the remaining non-tariff obstacles to trade. A non-tariff trade barrier is defined by economists as any measure, public or private, that causes internationally traded goods and services to be allocated in such a way as to reduce potential real-world income. Potential real-world income is the attainable level when resources are allocated in the most economically efficient manner. To the businessman a non-tariff barrier is any measure, other than tariffs, that provides a barrier or obstacle to the sale of his products in a foreign market. The major non-tariff trade barriers are as follows:
Quotas and trade control: These are specific limits and controls. The trade distortion of a quota is even more severe than a tariff because once the quota has been filled, the price mechanism is not allowed to operate. The good is simply unavailable at any price. "State trading" refers to the practice of monopolising trade in certain commodities. In communist countries all commodities are monopolised, but there are many examples of non-communist government monopolies: the Swedish government controls the import of all alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, and the French government controls all imports of coal.
Discriminatory government and private procurement policies: These are the rules and regulations that discriminate against foreign supplies and are commonly referred to as "Buy British" or "Buy American" policies.
Restrictive customs procedures
The rules and regulations for classifying and valuing commodities as a basis for levying import duties can be administered in a way that makes compliance difficult and expensive.
Selective monetary controls and discriminatory exchange rate policies
Discriminatory exchange rate policies distort trade in much the same way as selective import duties and export subsidies. Selective monetary policies are definite barriers to trade. For example, many countries from time to time require importers to place on deposit at no interest an amount equal to the value of imported goods. These regulations in effect raise the price of foreign goods by the cost of money for the term of the required deposit.
Restrictive administrative and technical regulations
These include anti-dumping regulations, size regulations and safety and health regulations. Some of these regulations are intended to keep out foreign foods while others are directed towards legitimate domestic objectives. For example, the safety and pollution regulations being developed in the United States for automobiles are motivated almost entirely by legitimate concerns about highway safety and pollution. However, an effect of the regulations, particularly on smaller foreign manufacturers, has been to make it so expensive to comply with US safety requirements that they have withdrawn from the market.
In 1969 GATT published a 276 page report listing non-tariff barriers to trade. This report, which listed such obscure items as an Italian sanitary tax on foreign snake poison, is already out of date.
Packaging or pesticide regulations often erect a hurdle for exports, but not insurmountably so. The EU has strict hygiene requirements for imports of horticultural produce for Africa which require strict observance. Producers of restrictive administrative regulations are incredibly creative in establishing barriers to trade. This can be seen in the following case3:
Case 4.2. Mexican Tomatoes
In 1969, the US Department Of Agriculture put a set of minimum size restrictions on all tomatoes sold in the US market. The regulations provided that mature green tomatoes (those that ripen after they are picked) could not be sold unless they measured more than 2-9/32" in diameter. Vine ripened tomatoes were required to measure at least 2-17/32" in diameter. Mexican tomato farmers were outraged because the regulations barred almost 50 percent of their crop from the US market. Florida growers contended that the regulations were not discriminatory because they applied to both the Mexican and the US crops. But the Mexicans pointed out that the regulations were more lenient on green than ripened tomatoes. Green tomatoes accounted for approximately 85 percent of the Florida tomato crop and only 10 percent of the Mexican crop. While US consumers saw prices rise as much as 30 percent, Mexican tomato framers were enraged while they watched tons of their tomatoes being fed to cattle or simply rotting in heaps along the highway. Rod Batiz, president of the 20 thousand member Confederation of Agriculture Association, was quoted in the "Wall Street Journal" as saying, "The whole of Mexico feels stabbed in the back".
The example illustrates how difficult it is to deal with non-tariff barriers to trade. The Mexicans could protest the decisions of the US Department of Agriculture, but the Florida growers who were competing with the Mexican growers, in effect, wrote their own regulations. They maintained that the regulations worked for the benefit of everyone: growers on both sides of the border and the consumer. A strong case could be made for the harm done by these regulations to Mexican growers and US consumers, but the mechanism for hearing this case did not really exist. The Mexican growers could influence this decision by pressuring the US government through diplomatic channels, or try to appeal directly to consumers and thereby influence legislative and administrative action in government.
An important test of a ruling or regulation is whether it has a greater impact on foreign producers. If this is the case, and there is no apparent social benefit for consumers, the ruling is a non-tariff barrier.
Before World War II specific duties were widely used and the tariffs of many countries, particularly those in Europe and Latin America, were extremely complex. Since the war the trend has been toward the conversion to ad valorem duties. Tariff administration has been simplified by the adoption by a large number of countries of the Brussels nomenclature (BTN). This nomenclature was worked out by an international committee of experts under the sponsorship of the Customs Cooperation Council, which in 1955 produced a convention that entered into force in 1959. The rules of this convention are now being applied by most GATT countries. Approximately two-thirds of all world trade is now conducted under tariffs based on the BTN system. It is significant, however, that among major trading nations neither the USA nor Canada uses the BTN.
The BTN groups articles mainly according to the material from which they are made. For less-developed countries, it is both easy to use and applicable to the goods they produce. An additional advantage of the BTN is its widespread use. A common basis for the classification of goods facilitates comparison of duties applied by different countries and simplifies international tariff negotiations.
In spite of the progress made in simplifying tariff procedures, the task of administrating a tariff presents an enormous problem. Even a tariff schedule of several thousand items cannot clearly describe every product that enters into international trade. The constant flow of new products and new materials used in manufacturing processes introduces new problems. Often, two or more alternative classifications must be considered in assessing the rate on a particular article depending upon how it is used or its component material. The classification of a product can make a substantial difference in the duty applied. There are two important implications of this fact for export marketers. The first is that exporters should seek the most favourable classification for their products in order to minimise the duty levied in the importing country. The second is that the difficulties of classification raise serious questions about the accuracy of data on international trade patterns. When using international trade data, it is important to bear in mind the enormous problems posed by classification and recognize that the numbers in trade reports may often reflect hasty and arbitrary classifications that distort the true picture of the trade flow. Evidence of the inaccuracy of grade classification practices is provided by frequent failure of import and export figures of the same commodity to reconcile between two countries. Some clever marketers seek to get their products reclassified in order to get a lower tariff structure.
The emergence of Japan in the 1970s and 80s, coupled with more trade between developing countries, harmed the balance of payments of the Western economies. Coupled with oil shocks and debt crises, attitudes to trade changed somewhat in the 1980s. In effect free trade was reversed. The Industry and Development Global Report (1988/89) made a series of observations showing that whilst expansion of demand was there, it was patchy and therefore in some sectors excess occurred. Coupled with schemes like the CAP of the EU (Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union) which produced "mountains" of butter, sugar, etc., this excess led to downward pressure on prices which newly emerging nations may be better equipped to deal with if raw materials are banned in country. The growth of economic unions like the EU which are limited multilateral organisations have undermined the strength of GATT agreements but only in so far as non-tariff barriers are concerned. Such non-tariff barriers may merely be devices to soften up foreign rivals and force them into regulatory voluntary restrictions on trade.
The main non-tariff barriers of recent times have been countervailing duty and anti-dumping. Protectionist measures like these can reduce global opportunities in direct ways (imposition of quotas, Health and Safety Standards, etc.), affect the attractiveness of marketing offers to intermediaries by affecting market price (tariffs), volume (voluntary restraints) and uncertainty ("proved" dumping cases) or they reduce opportunities by affecting the attractiveness of your offer to end users (cancelling out price advantages). Anti-dumping is the worst form of protection because anti-dumping creates uncertainty for producers and intermediaries, one needs not be "guilty" to be penalized for it. Anyone entering the industry after a charge of dumping against it will face the highest rate of levy. They can be fined and therefore be driven away and as a result consumers will suffer.
In order to circumvent protection, options include avoiding certain commodities or industries, teaming up with local contacts, producing from inside the market or self regulation.
The legal/political system is a minefield, with few international standards or regulations to fall back on. Thankfully, for many agricultural products and agribusinesses like timber, fish, livestock and so on, the rules are fairly well defined. However, change can occur very quickly. The imposition of a transport levy by the South Africans affected Zimbabwe's drought relief programme costs, and the increase of duties by 40% by the same country are hitting Zimbabwe's clothing exports there very hard. Zimbabwe and Botswana, who enjoy large beef quotas with the EU, can be affected overnight by a ban. On a number of occasions the EU has imposed a ban on beef exports from Zimbabwe because of a so called "foot and mouth" outbreak in Zimbabwe, Although minor in scale, its consequences can be major for the industry. Marketers are beholden to always keep a constant watch on changes which are and could occur in the legal/political environment.
Probably, the most important "Environmental variables" are the political and legal aspects. Laws regarding property rights and regulations regarding permissable and non permissable forms of cooperation and competition are possibly the greatest challenge facing multinational marketers when attempting to cross international boundaries.
Individual country policies, terms of access, tariff and non tariff barriers, and rules and regulations regarding standards of quality, quantity and so on, are so vital that often expert help is required to deal with them.
The new GATT Round, operational from 1995 and effected by the newly constituted World Trade Organisation, is one of the most far reaching trade agreements to date and proposes to boost world trade considerably over the next decade.
Terms of access
1. Why is it important for Government to have a regulatory framework?
2. Describe the major tariff/duties and non tariff barriers which can be used in international trade as barriers to entry. Give examples.
3. Taking any piece of legislation or example of your choice show how this has been used in either furthering or hindering international agricultural marketing.
4. For any product or service of your choice, in country, show how the main provisions of the new GATT agreement (1995) will affect its trade internationally.
1. Important to have a regulatory framework for the following reasons.
a) Framework states the political, social and legal ground rules for doing business between and within countries.
b) The framework gives:i) the basis for all production, exchange and distribution activities
ii) gives rise to expectations and assurances about the actions of others and
iii) gives order and stability to the means of doing business.
The most important rules are these:
a) Defining, allocating and enforcing property rights.
b) Establishing rules and conventions defining allowable and non allowable forms of cooperation and coordination (standards, rules of conduct, fair trading etc).
2. Tariff barriers/duties (terms of access)
a) Tariffs - single column, two column, preferential.
b) Duties - ad valorem, specific, alternative, compound, anti-dumping.
c) Import charges - variable, temporary, compensatory.
Non tariff barriers
a) Quota and trade controls.
b) Discriminatory Government and private procurement policies.
c) Restrictive customs procedures.
d) Selective monetary control and discriminatory exchange rate policies.
e) Restrictive administrative and technical regulations.
3. Students may be free to select any tariff on non tariff example or any other form. An excellent example would be the regulatory framework imposed by the EU on the import of horticultural produce from developing countries. These include hygiene standards, (phyto sanitary requirements), quality and size standards, certificates of origin, packaging standards.
Exercise 4.1 Algodon International 1
It was November 4, the first week of LATINA's major export season of raw cotton (see Annex 1). Mr. Pablo Funtanet, partner and principal trader in the firm looked pensively out the 7th floor window of the Stock Exchange Building of Latina where the firm's office were located. He had just returned from a cotton trading seminar in Geneva, and wondered how he could apply some new ideas he had learned. This was the first private trading season for his firm since the government's new policy of deregulation on 1 July 1988, in which the firm could serve customers for its own account. Trading positions had to be taken and risks calculated. He knew that the first free trading season was also the time to establish a respectable market share against Latina's competitors as well as against cotton suppliers outside Latina. Latina's principal shipping months corresponded with those of India, Turkey, the United States (California and Arizona) and Pakistan which tended to flood the market at times.
Cotton prices had shown a downward trend for over 12 months. They had peaked at $0.86 a pound in mid 1987 but had since fallen. Today's average spot price was $0.55 a pound. (See Annex 2). What marketing strategies should be considered.
Thanks to remarkable increases in yields since a major crop failure in 1986/87, Latina has established itself as one of the growing producers in the region. The country produced just over 8 million bales of 480 pounds each in 1987/88 with a forecast for 1988/89 of 11.2 million bales. (See Annex 3).
At the same time new strains and the installations of lint-cleaners have resulted in improvement in both staple and grade. The increase in production has been the result of an increase in sowing area as well as improvement in availability of fertilizers and pesticides and in farming techniques. With the increase in production, the domestic consumption also increased substantially from 5.6 million bales in 1985 to 6.2 million in 1988. The increase in local consumption is due to vigorous expansion of textile spinning sector. Most available new lint crop in 1988/89 is rapidly being taken up by the domestic mills and stocks are not being accumulated. An active demand for longer cotton reflects the short supply of certain cotton qualities during the month of November 1988.
But despite a substantial increase in domestic consumption, the country continued to produce more cotton than the local market could absorb. The task of exporting the surpluses to foreign markets increased therefore each year. The total exportable surplus during the year 1987/88 was 4 million bales, all of which was exported.
(Case prepared by ITC/UNCTAD/GATT Training Manual on Cotton Trading Operation Geneva 1989)
Latina benefits from extended planting and harvesting periods, which are due to a great variety in climate and distances from the various growing years
Some cotton is harvested as early as October and as late as January with this production mainly moving to domestic mills.
Most of the cotton in Latina is fully irrigated. Yields in such areas are around 2 bales per acre and more. Rain grown or semi-irrigated areas yield less.
Latina normally produces high grade crop with staple length of 1.1/16" to 1.3/32". In the Southern area cotton of 1.5/32" and 1.3/16" staple is grown.
The bulk of Latina cotton is still hand-picked but machine-picking is on the increase. All cotton is saw-ginned.
On 28 January 1963, the government of Latina passed a decree centralizing all cotton marketing. The government from that date on assumed the responsibility of all the export marketing of cotton for which purpose the Cotton Export Corporation of Latina (i.e. "the Corporation") was created.
The nationalization of the cotton sector had affected the private sector seriously as its activity was drastically scaled down. Cotton were only allowed to act as export agents for the Corporation rather than acting as merchants which required much more trading skills. The nationalization policy was a serious blow to the private sector, especially for those merchants, like Algodon International, which over the years had concentrated on exporting.
Since 1 July 1988, the government has de-regulated the cotton export sector, allowing private enterprises to export raw cotton side by side with the Corporation. However, the de-control has been done with the re-introduction of the Minimum Export Price and Compulsory Contract Registration. The State Bank of Latina announces daily the minimum export price of the base cotton on FOB basis. The bank, in order to calculate the base price, uses world averages of the previous day. Export sales are only allowed to be consummated on the prevailing minimum export price of that day. The minimum export price policy has been re-introduced in order to ensure that no one can export Latina cotton below the prevalent world level.
The company was founded in 1959 and has been primarily involved with the trading of cotton. Before the de-regulation of the cotton export, Algodon International defined its mission as that of export selling for the Corporation since there was no other way of doing business. The company would take a standard commission, and profit and growth of the company was limited. Quite often, the business was simple and it merely resulted "in order taking and execution" on behalf of the Corporation. In order to boost profits the company entered the business of "resident buying". Algodon International would buy on behalf of foreign customers the type of cotton they desired. Instead of earning a commission through a selling service, paid by the Corporation, the company switched and earned through the provision of buying services. Being a resident buyer provided the company with some additional autonomy and flexibility.
More importantly, the knowledge gained in residence buying had given the company an added experience of knowing the requirements of cotton end-users, i.e., spinners, more precisely. Resident buying forced the company also to pay close attention to the crop developments in Latina. Foreign customers wanted to stay informed about the availability of the Latina quantity and quality of cotton in order to be able to buy correctly.
Besides providing its foreign clientele with information about the Latina cotton situation, a growing demand has occurred in recent years to inform them on the world market developments, including the interpretation of New York cotton figures. The firm would provide customers with opinion on cotton quality and quantity availability, appropriate buying price levels, negotiations of prices, future trend prices, and on shipment periods. If, for instance Algodon International would recommend to buy a lot of Indian cotton, it would equally charge a commission, as if it were a Latina transaction. If commissions were charged on foreign cotton, the firm would act more as a consultant than as a buying agent.
Since 1 July 1988, Algodon International has again redefined its business mission and is now acting as an export merchant. The international merchandising of cotton provides much more opportunity to increase profits than the previous commission based roles of export or buying agents. By acting as a merchant, the firm buys for its own account and can price its cotton at what the market will bear, as long as the price is above government set minimum price. Never knowing what price movements are going to be, Algodon International has to consider hedging operations combined with option trading.
The risk of a merchant is one of being the owner of the cotton with all the responsibilities of storing, transporting, financing and most of all, understanding the international cotton trade.
Problem areas for Algodon International in its trading operations
Algodon International as a private trader is facing a number of problems. Some of them are temporary which could be phased out in due course, but some are likely to remain for some time. The major problems can be summarised as follows
a) Lack of experienced personnel
Since the export trade of raw cotton has been centralized in one organisation for more than 15 years, the development process of professional staff has been sharply reduced. Experienced personnel in the cotton business such as professionals who understand the trading in futures and options as well as marketing, documentation and transportation, are not adequately available. Market penetration and Algodon International's competitive positioning will be severely handicapped due to the lack of knowledge people. Since no training institute in international trade exists in Latina, no immediate remedy to this problem can be envisaged.
b) Bank credit
Before de-regulation of the cotton export sector, the commercial banks were financing the Corporation against government guarantees without hesitancy. All credit requirements were met without any consideration of probability, collateral security or financial structure of the organization. The end result has been that the banks have also neglected to train professional staff who understand the international cotton business.
The cotton business climate since 1 July 1988, has introduced, through the presence of the private sector, a large degree of risk which has to be assessed before it can extend credit. Instead, the banks require collateral security or pledges the stock. The difficulty of obtaining credit for the cotton traders, especially for the small and medium size firms, has not been an exception for Algodon International. Large amounts of credit are required for cotton operations. Sometimes Algodon International is able to provide collateral through equitable security or by pledging cotton stock.
c) Problems of non-performance of cotton importers
Increasingly, unscrupulous foreign buyers have not respected agreed upon contracts by failing to perform when lower spot prices offered them large savings. It is a problem which can cause considerable losses for cotton exporters. Non-performers of contracts have to be explained to the State Bank of Latina where the contract was filed. The bank can keep the exporter responsible for non-performance if the problem reoccurs. The exporter can resort to the Liverpool Cotton Exchange for technical arbitration but in some countries the implementation of the arbitration settlement has been disappointing.
d) The minimum export price policy
The introduction by the State Bank of Latina of the minimum export policy seriously limits price competition against foreign traders. Although the minimum price is established on the basis of world parity, it will be difficult to penetrate new market segments. The daily price announced by the central bank is based on the previous day's averages. As the price trend has been downwards since mid-1988, "yesterday's" average tends to lag with "today's" downward price trends. Further, the objective of new merchant-entrants in the cotton trade is build up "market share" during the first years of operation. As potentially new customers tend to be slow to change supply sources, a competitive strategy would be to apply penetration pricing by cutting one's profit margin and set a price below the competitor's price level. With the State Bank imposed pricing policy it would be difficult for Algodon International to build new clientele through the applying of a penetration pricing policy.
Formulating a marketing strategy
Mr. Funtanet realized that the formulation of a marketing strategy for his firm was one of his utmost priorities. Already some growing areas had started to ship and as a merchant he had to take a stock position or sell short. The following elements had to be considered: market target, channel mix, stock position, pricing and promotion strategies.
Market target and channel mix
Mr Funtanet realized that he could buy cotton for different customers who may have different objectives for using the cotton. His most logical target would be the spinner. When his firm operated as a resident buying agent, a network of spinners had been developed and his firm had become informed about the specific criteria each customer looked for. Customer profiles had been developed and computerized.
One disadvantage of buying for the spinners was the shrinkage of the market size of the number of spinners. In Europe, Japan and the USA, the textile industry was going through a concentration and the number of spinners was declining every month. Most of the clients Algodon International served as a resident buyer were in fact the smaller spinners who are most in need of commercial intelligence.
The bigger spinners, where the future is concentrated, were served by the international merchants located in places such as New York, London or Geneva. If Algodon International would target international merchants as its future clientele, price competition rather than non-price competition would be the firm's pricing policy. The international merchant buys primarily on price and very little loyalty can be gained. Its profits objectives would have to be more modest as its mark-up would have to be halved. Only through merchandising large volumes could his firm maintain its profit objectives,
A quantitative sales forecast should be the basis of judging his inventory requirements for the next shipping season. Various factors played a role in deciding on his purchasing needs. The most indicative index would be his past sales performance as a cotton merchant. Being a newcomer in the trade he decided that as an objective he must sell at least last years' export volume of 130,000 bales of 480 lbs each, when his firm operated as a resident buyer. As a resident buyer, however, his risk was very limited, as he merely executed orders. The spinner made the decisions. As a merchant, he would be fully exposed to all forces in the market place, including competition, changing demand and weather. Political changes were very likely through new allocation criteria brought about through the Multi-Fibre Agreement. His greatest concern was his financial position. How much credit would his bank provide him? His bales position would have to be either "long" or "short", depending on the credit availability. He figured that he could finance 25 per cent of his sales objective on his own. He could match his own resources with another 25 per cent with credit. As a newcomer in the trade he felt that ample credit availability to his customers would be a competitive requirement. With the provision of credit to his clientele his working capital turnover would most likely be on the low side and not exceed four. The remaining questions pertained to his customer's delivery requirements. The exporting season ran from August through January and on average he could anticipate to deliver 16 per cent of his sales forecast each month. In order to guarantee availability of cotton to his foreign customers Mr. Funtanet realized that he had to "cover" his requirement. How much should he buy on the spot and how much for future delivery? Further, should he hedge and what advantages would there be in combining hedging with options trading? He started reading the November 3 cotton supply outlook (see Annex 4) to increase his understanding of future market conditions.
The minimum export price for 1988/89 crop lint was set by the State Bank on 4 November 1988 at $0.4750 per lb FOB, and that for 1987/88 crop remnants at $0.4525. The respective values a week ago were $0.4825 and $0.46.
Mr. Funtanet noticed that CIF prices in Europe had increased over last week and over last month but were still almost $0.20 below last year's (see Annex 5). Polyester prices had all increased over last year's with China (Taiwan Province) quoting, due to its recent re-evaluation, $0.73 a pound compared to $0.525 a year ago (see Annex 6). New York future prices in November showed a slight decrease compared with the quotations listed in the month of October. When reflecting on the above statistics and calculating a pricing strategy, his eye caught an opinion about the state of the textile market abroad (see annex 7) and the futures and options closing for the day (see annexes 8 and 9).
Mr. Funtanet realized that if his firm continued to serve the spinners, he had to expand his customer mix and try to gain acceptance from some large spinning mills. The "missionary" type of selling activities would result in promoting his firm as a reliable future supplier. He wondered if using sales agents would be appropriate for the initial sales push. Cultivating new customers required a lot of time without sales guarantee. Sales agents might be more appropriate as "order takers", after initial confidence had been established. Using his own salesmen would require extensive training as very few knowledgeable commercial cotton people were left in Latina. If he utilized agents in the early stages, he wondered how difficult it would be to terminate an agent agreement after some time.
Instead of using the "sales push", he also wondered if he could substitute a "sales pull" strategy of trade advertising during the take-off period of his firm. This would give him time to train his sales people and switch to a push-pull strategy after the first trading cycle. He realized a lot depended on the future cotton market conditions and the competitiveness of the services his firm could deliver.
a) In what business is Algodon International?
b) What are Algodon International's operational objectives for implementing the mission during the next fiscal year?
c) What political, economic, competitive, social, technological, demographic and ecological changes are taking place in the international cotton market, which would affect the mission and objectives of Algodon International?
d) What are the strengths and weaknesses of Algodon International to implement its mission and objectives under changing market conditions?
e) What is the conflict between Algodon International's combined mission and objectives and the conclusions reached in the environmental analysis and the company's audit?
f) What strategic solutions are most appropriate for Algodon International to solve the principle problem?
g) What actions must be considered in order to implement the strategic plan?
1. "The Economist", 4th December 1993
2. "Business Herald", (Zimbabwe) January 19, 1995, pp 25
3. Keegan, W.J. "Global Marketing Management." Prentice Hall International Edition, 1989.
4. Smith, P. "International Marketing." University of Hall MBA notes, 1990.
5. Terpstra, V. "International Marketing", 4th ed. The Dryden Press, 1987.
6. "The Guardian", 15 December, 1993 pp 12.