Let me start by thanking
you and the Chairs of the various negotiating bodies for their hard work and the
reports that they have submitted.
We all need to work hard at home during the break to obtain negotiating
instructions that will enable us to bridge the differences that the Chairs have
identified in their reports.
Speaking of work at home,
I am very pleased to announce that the U.S. House of Representatives early this
morning approved our Free-Trade Area Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA). This is very good news for
U.S. participation in these WTO
It is a major victory for
those in the United
who stand for further trade liberalization. It puts a strong wind at our backs as we
move into the intensive negotiations here in Geneva in September.
We are grateful to our
partners in Central
America and the
Republic for demonstrating so clearly that free trade is a
critical ingredient in development.
Turning back to the
situation here in Geneva, like others, my delegation is disappointed that we
have not made more progress in moving the DDA forward, but I do not intend to
dwell on this point.
Successful conclusion of
the DDA will yield substantial benefits for the global economy – potentially
lifting 300 million people out of poverty. For this reason, we need to move
forward in September with renewed intensity, shared responsibility, and most of
all, commitments to find compromises, especially in areas that will be difficult
for each of us. The
U.S. recognizes this and accepts this
President Bush has made
the DDA and strengthening the WTO the centerpiece of his trade agenda. We are
committed to completing the negotiations before the end of 2006, in order to
utilize our Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) which the U .S. Congress just
renewed for two years.
What must each of us do to
move in September toward success at Hong Kong?
Kong will only succeed if it
is well prepared, and provided we set our sights high in terms of ambition.
In the core areas of
agriculture, NAMA and services, we need to think and act ambitiously and to set
a vision for the trading system well into the next decade.
First, we must continue to
aim high in agriculture. That’s clearly what President Bush signaled when at
Gleneagles he challenged others to join us to eliminate all trade distorting
We salute Tim Groser and
are most grateful for his outstanding efforts to build on the July 2004
The Negotiating Group
continues to face significant challenges, not the least of which is market
access, where we have not yet agreed on a structure for negotiations. This is in
stark contrast to the other pillars of domestic support and export subsidies,
where we do have structures.
On market access, in
recent weeks there have been signals that all want to find a middle ground –
somewhere between the ambitions of those who have advocated a Swiss formula, and
those who have wanted to use the approach from the Uruguay Round. In this regard, the G20 has offered some
useful suggestions on structure that have helped us to focus our
We will continue, despite
the summer recess, to seek a consensus that will ensure improved market access
for all products, particularly in making deeper cuts in higher tariffs. All of this, we submit, can be done
in a manner that builds upon, rather than tears down, the July 2004
On domestic support, we’ve
seen progress on the structure for reductions. We recognize that a strong outcome on
domestic support will require important changes in our farm programs – indeed
we’re already making changes -- but changes cannot be made by just one
there is a saying that “your word is your bond.” We made a commitment at
Doha, we reinforced it last July in the 2004 Framework,
and our participation in the agriculture talks continues to be guided by our
strong commitment to real agricultural reform.
For some reason, those who
subsidize the most still seek reassurance with respect to the question of
domestic support: so let me be clear yet again. The
is committed to meaningful reform in domestic support measures in all countries.
That includes a substantial reduction in the allowed level of trade-distorting
domestic support, product-specific caps on the 'amber box', a cap on partially
decoupled payments under the 'blue box', and new criteria to ensure that all
countries' partially decoupled support payments are less trade-distorting than
amber box payments.
expects all countries to reduce trade-distorting support in these negotiations
and looks forward to the day when all trade-distorting support and tariff
barriers are eliminated.
A final word on cotton,
which remains a very important issue, particularly for our partners in
Significant progress has been recorded on two fronts: first, on
development where there have been significant steps specifically on cotton since
our meetings last July. I would
also add that those countries most concerned about cotton were helped more
broadly by the very important steps that we and other G-8 Members took related
to Africa when our Leaders met at Gleneagles.
On July 20, West African
Ministers issued a declaration welcoming
U.S. actions on cotton related to our agricultural trade
programs. We also welcome the
most recent exchange that took place on the occasion of the AGOA Forum, hosted
by Senegal. We
understand the importance of this issue and we will continue to work with our
partners for reform in this sector.
The path ahead on NAMA is
much clearer, given the work that has been done in the past several weeks. We thank Chairman Johannessen for helping
us to define this path. Several
constructive ideas are on the table.
There have been signals of flexibility from all sides about finding the
right formula and the use of coefficients to realize real market access
opportunities. We need quickly in
September to turn these signals of convergence into compromises that work for
Resolution of the
technical issues of product coverage and AVES must also come quickly, so that we
can finalize possible approaches on the formula and the treatment of unbound
Work on sectors and NTBs
must intensify so that by the time of the Hong Kong meeting we have a clear direction on how each of us
will table our offers in 2006 and engage in the final negotiations.
We need to build the
bridges to one another to be ambitious, while being sensitive to one another’s
real needs and concerns. Our expectations for the beginning of September are
that all will return to the table ready to find solutions.
A pro-development strategy
requires a strong network of services infrastructure for an economy to grow. For
this reason, we have been working with others to see how we can lift our sights
on services. We strongly support
Chairman Jara’s efforts to do exactly that. We appreciate his clear delineation of
organization of our future work.
As reflected in Chairman
Jara’s Report to the TNC, we have an ambitious work plan for services covering
market access, domestic regulation, development and to ensure that the good work
done by the various friends groups helps us to build up the package of
We all need to commit to
engage fully on this work plan so that we can be assured of a robust and
comprehensive negotiating agenda for services as negotiations proceed in
agriculture and NAMA.
We are encouraged by the
signals that partners are still working on revised offers, and hope that those
who have not yet tabled revised offers do so before we return in September.
We believe that useful
work has been done to date – we are encouraged by the number of proposals on the
table and the seriousness of purpose that Members are demonstrating. New alliances are being forged and we
are particularly pleased that this is an area where least-developed countries
have been active, including tabling of proposals.
We will work with Chairman
Noor and others to chart a path to Hong Kong and beyond that will secure a very important result,
and one that should contribute to the market access
The most important
contribution to development will be if we succeed in opening new markets in the
core areas of agriculture, NAMA and services. That should be the primary focus of our
We thank Chairman Ismail
for his work in the Committee on Trade and Development in Special Session, to
address the range of special and differential treatment elements in the mandate,
particularly those of the least-developed countries. We look forward to completing this work
in the autumn in a way that enhances the rules-based trading system.
There has been important
work on capacity building, including work on improving the Integrated Framework
and closer cooperation with the International Trade Centre, in particular. We need to build on that
In addition to our
multilateral efforts regarding capacity building, we have undertaken additional
bilateral efforts, including the launch of President Bush's African Global
Competitiveness Initiative. The Initiative will further the work of Trade Hubs,
located in Ghana, Botswana and Kenya, and provides for an additional Hub in
Senegal to enable African economies to take advantage of our
All the issues in this
area, whether it is antidumping, subsidies, fish subsidies or RTAs, are
important to Members. Thanks to the work of Chairman Valles, there is
substantive engagement on these issues – and by the time we leave
Kong we will need to have
set the stage for text based negotiations. We are prepared to do that, and we
presume that others are as well.
Dr. Supachai, thank you
for your leadership as Chairman of the TNC in helping us reach this stage of the
DDA. We are pleased that you will remain in Geneva, so that you can see first-hand the success that we
finally achieve. We look forward to
your continued support and cooperation as you take up your new post, and we wish
you the greatest success.