Geneva, Switzerland - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk arrived in Geneva, Switzerland today for the 7th Session of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference. While in Geneva, Kirk will meet multilaterally with trade ministers from America's WTO partner economies, and will hold a number of meetings on the margins with key trading partners and blocs. The ministerial is not a formal negotiating session, but an opportunity to take stock of the global trading system and to discuss the importance of keeping markets open and beneficial trade flowing at this time of economic crisis.
"When the world's markets are more open to American goods and services, and trade occurs in a rules-based system, American businesses get to make and sell more products and hire more workers at home. The United States engages with other economies and plays a leadership role at the World Trade Organization in order to boost American exports and grow the well-paid jobs Americans want and need," said Kirk. "This ministerial is an important opportunity for the WTO's 153 members to take stock of the trading system overall, to build on the foundation of our rules-based trading system, and to consider the potential of a balanced and ambitious conclusion to the Doha Round of world trade negotiations."
Kirk is scheduled to address the opening plenary session of the ministerial on Monday, November 30 at the International Conference Centre Geneva, and to participate in multilateral working sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Following the public closing conference of the ministerial meeting on Wednesday, Kirk will hold a news conference.
USTR meetings on the margins include, but are not limited to, sessions with ministers from a number of least-developed countries and with the African Group. Kirk will hold a number of bilateral meetings with key U.S. trading partners as well.