U.S. Presses to Keep Ambition High in
GENEVA, July 1, 2006 - U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab
and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today pledged continued
U.S. commitment at the
conclusion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Geneva. The meetings, aimed at breaking the
current deadlock, concluded without a breakthrough.
“We remain fully
committed to an ambitious, robust round that opens new markets for the world’s
farmers, manufacturers and service providers,” said Schwab. “This is the only
way to deliver on the Doha promise as a development round. We have no
intention of giving up hope.”
Johanns said, “The meetings this week were important – our
big task was to agree on how to deliver on the Doha mandate to ‘substantially improve’ market
access in agriculture through programs of fundamental reform and by reducing
barriers to industrial goods. We
don’t have all the answers yet, but the central question of market access is
squarely on the table. We also had
a long overdue discussion on the balance that we all need to achieve for the
Round to succeed.”
The U.S. participated in several
days of WTO negotiations which included bilateral and small group meetings.
Schwab and Johanns described the situation as serious, but not beyond hope.
Schwab continued, “We are disappointed but we will not be
deterred. Last October, the
States took a risk that’s associated with
leadership by putting on the table a major agricultural offer, expecting that it
would be reciprocated by similarly bold moves by others. That hasn’t happened yet. Creating new trade flows will be the
yardstick that is used to measure our success.
“As Ministers reflect and consult, with the help of Director General Lamy, we
must shift the debate from how to grow loopholes in both agriculture and
manufactured goods that undermine liberalization and focus instead on what each
of us – developed and developing countries alike – can bring to the table to
ensure the Round succeeds. We leave Geneva more
determined than ever to stay focused on achieving the promise of Doha.
We are ready to roll
up our sleeves and work to find the breakthrough that will enable the successful
conclusion of the Doha Round. It is
the right thing to do for the U.S. economy, global development, and
strengthening of the world trading system.”