U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab will travel to Brazil July 27-29 in the first of several trips to sustain support for the global trade and development goals of the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Agenda.
Schwab will confer with Brazil’s Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, who represents his country in trade negotiations, on how to move the negotiations forward to open new global trade flows following the suspension of formal Doha Round on July 24.
"The spirit of Doha lives even if a formal agreement eludes us at this time," said Ambassador Schwab. "There remains a strong desire among WTO members to alleviate poverty and to spur development through increased trade.
"Brazil is a leader in the WTO system, and it has consistently called for increased market access opportunities in agriculture as part of the Doha outcome. It has never wavered from this point," Schwab noted. "We will continue to work with other responsible leaders in the global trading community, including Brazil, to achieve our shared objectives to increase trade flows, combat poverty, and spur economic growth. The United States will continue to engage all our trading partners to revive the Doha Development Agenda and ensure that its full potential is realized."
In August, Ambassador Schwab will meet with trade ministers from the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN). In September she, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Johanns, will visit with members of the Cairns Group of agricultural exporting nations in Australia. In November, Ambassador Schwab will accompany Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to a meeting of trade minister and other leaders of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group (APEC).
Members of the World Trade Organization launched the Doha Development Agenda in Qatar’s capitol in December, 2001. Central objectives of the Doha Round include reducing tariffs on agricultural and industrial products, reducing agricultural subsidies, eliminating barriers to trade in services, and spurring development through expanded trade.
The United States has stressed that only an ambitious, balanced, and comprehensive final agreement, with meaningful openings in market access that generates new trade flows, can achieve the development objectives WTO members endorsed and win political support by individual WTO members.
At the G-8 summit, President Bush and other world leaders urged negotiators to keep working beyond a self-imposed July 31 deadline to come up with the outlines of a final agreement.
Schwab joined trade ministers from the European Union, Australia, Japan, India and Brazil in Geneva July 23 and 24 but, in conjunction with WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, determined the talks were at an impasse. The United States cited inadequate offers on agricultural market access as the chief reason.
Schwab maintained that settling for a deal that offered inadequate market access would fail to meet the development goals of the Doha Round.
Schwab noted that the World Bank offered a conservative estimated of a $142- billion income gain for developing countries from the elimination of barriers to trade in goods. That amount exceeds the $80 billion in foreign economic assistance from major industrialized countries and the current proposal for $42 billion in debt relief, combined.