Paris, France – Today, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk concluded his two-day visit to Paris. During his visit, Ambassador Kirk met informally with various key trade ministers and also attended an Australia-hosted gathering of ministers to discuss the WTO Doha negotiations. This informal meeting has become an annual event held on the margins of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Ministerial Council Meeting.
After the trade ministers’ meeting, Ambassador Kirk held a press conference to discuss the WTO Doha Round. He was joined by Ambassador Michael Punke, Deputy United States Trade Representative and U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO.
“I want to reaffirm the Obama Administration's commitment and support of an ambitious and balanced outcome to the Doha Round of negotiations. As more and more members have come to embrace that reality, I believe that we are closer to a negotiating paradigm that we can have a successful conclusion to the Round,” said Ambassador Kirk. “There is a continued resistance by some partners to engage in sustained and meaningful negotiations that will continue to be a roadblock to our success, unless all of our partners are willing to engage in the frank, open and difficult negotiations required to do something as complex as a multilateral engagement involving the 153 members of the WTO. The United States remains committed to engagement in Geneva and bilateral fora in any configuration across all sectors in order to bring this to a conclusion."
The negotiations under the WTO Doha Development Agenda are the current multilateral trade-negotiation round, launched in November 2001. Its focus is to lower trade barriers around the world, allowing countries to increase trade globally. One of the keys to ensuring a positive impact of the Doha Round, particularly for the poorest developing countries, will be to secure new and meaningful market openings, including by the most advanced developing countries.