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Statement of U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Michael Punke from the Meeting of G-20 Trade Ministers

April 20, 2012

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Representing the United States at this week’s meeting of G-20 trade ministers, Deputy United States Trade Representative and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Michael Punke issued the following statement upon the close of proceedings in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. From Ambassador Punke:

“Trade liberalization is an essential element of any economic growth strategy. Ambitious market opening – in manufacturing, agriculture, and services – is a critical piece of the challenge facing the global economy.

“Consistent with the G20 Leaders' direction, there is a real opportunity to explore fresh, credible approaches to trade liberalization and to produce broad-based market opening that benefits economies, companies, and individuals around the globe.

“The United States welcomes the opportunity to explore new pathways toward opening markets, such as services liberalization on a plurilateral basis. In the same way, we are excited by the enthusiasm and creativity shown in Members’ continuing work on trade and development, trade facilitation, the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, and completion of the revised Government Procurement Agreement and negotiations to broaden its membership. We hope that all WTO Members share this eagerness to see the agenda advance and are ready to act upon it, including by putting new ideas on the table as to how to move forward.

“The WTO must remain true to its fundamental missions – liberalizing trade, serving as a bulwark against protectionist pressures, and generating enforceable rules that provide essential stability to the global trading system.

“Today, G20 Members and others at the WTO have a strategic opportunity to incorporate the realities of our interconnectedness into more fruitful discussions and negotiations that advance the rule-making and trade opening functions of the WTO. “