Late this morning in Geneva, Switzerland, Ambassador Kirk met with trade ministers and officials from more than 25 African countries. The meeting focused on key issues in the Doha Round of trade negotiations, the future of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and trade-related aid to Africa.
Ambassador Kirk and Egyptian Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid
On Doha, Ambassador Kirk encouraged Africa Group ministers to work with the United States to ensure a Doha result that creates the new market access needed to generate economic growth and development in Africa and globally - namely, with meaningful market access contributions by key emerging economies. He recognized the importance of cotton for African countries, and noted that best solution on cotton would come from an ambitious agricultural outcome on all commodities and across all three pillars of the negotiations - particularly improved market access into key markets such as China.
Ambassador Kirk also assured African Ministers of continued USG support for AGOA and to provide U.S. aid for trade, but urged ministers to continue to make the kinds of reforms and investments needed to diversify their exports and improve their competitiveness in the U.S. as well as regional and global markets.
Ambassador Kirk also met briefly this afternoon with Russian Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina. Ambassador Kirk expressed the United States' continuing support for and readiness to assist Russia's individual accession to the WTO. Ambassador Kirk also stressed the continuing need for Russia to open its markets to U.S. meat and poultry products in accordance with existing agreements and with world health and science standards.
Ambassador Kirk and with Russian Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina