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Statement by Ambassador Michael Froman at the Conclusion of the 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference

Nairobi, Kenya -- U.S. Representative Michael Froman released the following statement at the conclusion of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Nairobi. 

"Our work in Nairobi marks a turning point for the World Trade Organization.

“Members agreed on a series of important outcomes on agriculture and development, and very importantly, started a new phase in the WTO's evolution. 

“In the midst of feverish work this week on the Nairobi Package, Members engaged in honest and focused conversations on the limitations of the Doha Development Agenda framework.  While opinions remain divided among the WTO Membership, it is clear that the road to a new era for the WTO began in Nairobi.

“As WTO members start work next year, they will be freed to consider new approaches to pressing unresolved issues and begin evaluating new issues for the organization to consider. 

“It’s fitting that our work in Nairobi delivered a meaningful package that will aid development around the world. With the help of African countries and other Least Developed Countries, we were able to design new rules and disciplines for export subsidies, export credits, state trading enterprises and food aid.

“Additionally, we made significant progress toward the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, promising systemic reforms that will allow developing countries to enjoy sustainable economic development through trade. 

“Additionally two new countries -- Liberia and Afghanistan, both least developed countries, completed negotiations on the terms of their WTO Membership.  We look forward to them formally joining the WTO in 2016.

“Our work to secure a global ban on export subsidies will help level the playing field for American farmers and ranchers. The WTO’s actions in this area will put an end to some of the most trade distorting subsidies in existence and demonstrates what is possible when the multilateral trading system comes together to solve a problem. 

“The success we enjoyed in Nairobi began early in the week with the conclusion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). An array of tech products from semiconductors to software will no longer face tariff barriers that have made trade more difficult for this sector.

“We look forward to building on that success as we enter this next phase in the evolution of the WTO and the development of the global trading system.”