USTR criticizes telecom reform in 11 nations

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) published its annual report on foreign compliance with telecommunications trade agreements Monday and hit out at a handful of nations for not living up to the agreements. The United States threatened several nations with sanctions if progress is not made by specified dates.

The USTR annual review, which examines obstacles that remain towards the expansion of U.S. telecommunications carriers into foreign markets despite trade agreements that are in place, highlighted complaints against 10 nations: Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingodm.

The most stinging criticism in the report was reserved for Colombia, Mexico, South Africa and Taiwan and the first two nations were given deadlines. Colombia was given a deadline of June 25 to begin issuing licenses to new international carriers or face possible action at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The United States said Mexico has until June 1 to show progress in a number of issues, including interconnection costs and the dominance of Tel