U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab
As Prepared for Delivery
On behalf of the U.S. team, I want to start by extending my thanks to you and
the others that have worked so hard in Geneva to push the Doha Round forward.
Secretary of Agriculture Johanns and I appreciate the hard work and dedication
towards meeting the Doha goals.
I want to focus on two specific points today: the Round’s potential
contribution to growth and development, and how we break the current impasse
facing us in agriculture and Non Agricultural Market Access.
The Doha Contribution to Growth and Development: Creating New and Real
Market access contributes fundamentally to development, and we all know that
trade can be a powerful tool to generate income gains that can dwarf foreign
assistance. The World Bank’s conservative estimate of a $142 billion income gain
to developing countries from goods trade barrier elimination exceeds the $80
billion in G7 foreign economic assistance and the current proposal for $42
billion in debt relief.
We’ve done good work in other areas, but the core contribution to development
comes through global market-opening. In other words, creating new trade flows
will be the yardstick used to measure our success.
Suggestions that we need to "settle" for something less than achieving
substantial improvements in market access – for the sake of having a deal at any cost -- is a
clear signal that the WTO is in danger of losing its way. Twenty years ago we
launched the Uruguay Round. Twenty years later we are only now seeing the end of
the implementation of its results — we need no further proof that with the current
negotiations we are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation opportunity.
The United States is committed to real reform in agriculture. We signed up to
this at Doha, and all our efforts since then have been aimed at getting a major
result in all three pillars of the negotiations.
President Bush has been clear about our commitment to reducing and
eliminating trade restrictions and domestic support and creating new trade
opportunities through enhanced access.
We are looking for a pathway for reform in all three areas: domestic support,
export competition and market access. There must be a balance of outcome among
all three areas —
something quite different from a balance of incremental adjustments to what is
currently on the negotiating table. And something far in excess of what we
accomplished in the Uruguay Round.
Last October, the United States took a risk. The risk of leadership. We put a
big agriculture offer on the table – expecting that it would be matched by similarly
bold moves by others. Regrettably, that hasn’t happened yet.
On domestic support, while the United States is by no means the largest
subsidizer of domestic agriculture, we have proposed dramatic cuts in domestic
support – in the
Amber, the Blue and the de minimus. These cuts will require real reform of our
programs. Although we do not have as much to eliminate on the export competition
side as some others, we nonetheless are on a path to eliminate these practices
as part of the overall result.
Looking across the three pillars of agriculture, right now the situation in
market access is, at best, ambiguous. Unlike domestic support and export
competition, one can’t tell what actual increases in access might result. Simply
wringing the water out of the tariffs and providing huge exceptions through the
three S’s -- sensitive products, special products and special safeguards
– create uncertainty
and what appears to be a huge and unacceptable imbalance between market access
and the other two pillars.
Consequently, now is the time for WTO members to return to the aspirations of
the Doha Declaration and the goals of the Framework to find ways to deliver
substantial tariff cuts, real access for sensitive products, and calibrated
disciplines on special products and the special safeguards mechanism. Anything
less shortchanges the Doha Development Agenda.
We remain ready to negotiate a big outcome in agriculture because it is the
right thing to do.
Successful conclusion of the DDA would yield substantial benefits for the
global economy – with
complete barrier elimination estimated at the World Bank to lift many tens of
millions out of poverty.
While we have been rightly focused on agriculture as the linchpin to getting
past the current impasse, we also cannot forget that 75 percent of global trade
is in manufactured products.
Here, the United States, other developed countries, and a number of
developing countries have made ambitious proposals that signal willingness to
make deep, real reductions in tariff rates.
Members need cuts that are deep enough to go substantially into applied
rates, to foster trade, and to create new opportunities for economic growth and
And when the United States speaks of the importance of market access to
development I speak as country that puts its money where its mouth is
– where in 2005 the
United States imported over $918 billion from the developing world, running a
$492 billion trade deficit with developing countries.
President Bush has made the DDA and strengthening the WTO the centerpiece of
his trade agenda. The United States is not backing away from its commitment to
achieve an ambitious Doha outcome, and to complete the negotiations before the
end of 2006.