Office of the United States Trade Representative


USTR Zoellick Partial Press Conference Transcript, Brazilian Embassy in Paris

USTR Zoellick: Thank you Kamal. Well, first I’d like to thank Ministers Amorim and Furlan and their colleagues for hosting this. I think it was a useful meeting. I think it’s important to keep our eye on the big picture which all of us here are trying to address. Which is a major opportunity, a historic opportunity to reform international agricultural policies. There is a tremendous opportunity to cut subsidies, and also open markets and it has been the consistent position of the United States that we have to do both. And in doing so we have to make substantial progress in all three pillars in the agricultural negotiations. If we are able to do so, this will of course this will also be connected with domestic agriculture policies. So it is my own hope that not only the group of us but all the Ministers and countries involved will not let this opportunity slip, because one never knows when that opportunity will return.

That is also the best way to try to achieve significant cuts in subsidies and tariffs in cotton, a subject that I know is important to many of our African partners as well as some of us up here. And the way to do so is to have that accomplished is with a strong agricultural package. This is why I have been pushing very hard since January to turn around the breakdown that we had in Cancun because I think it is very important that this not be a lost year for the Doha agenda. I think the discussion we had here has been described well by my colleagues. I think it was a good discussion, a substantive one. I think there was some convergence on points, some other points of ideas that we need to explore. At the same time I would caution that there is still a considerable way to go. There are many issues to yet to resolve and not much time to do so. In addition to agriculture which did take the bulk of our time, we also talked a little bit about the negotiations in goods and services because at least a number of us believe that it is important to have market opening in goods and services as well as in agriculture and that is the best way to help the global economy.

As my colleagues have mentioned we are only one subset of the ministers. A number of us are heading down to a meeting of the G-90 in Mauritius, I’ll be heading down this evening, which I think is an important opportunity for us to talk with some of the poorest developing nations and to make sure that we listen to their issues, concerns and share the thinking that we had from this meeting.

So I would just close again by thanking our Brazilian hosts, I think we had a meeting that I did in London, we had one in Sao Paolo, one here and I think that it’s a useful process and I know that all of us at least plan to continue to try to work together on it.

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