Aid for Trade

Aid for Trade is an initiative, started in 2005 at the WTO's Hong Kong Ministerial meeting, intended to help developing countries connect the trade priorities of developing countries with trade capacity building assistance -- to help those countries implement trade commitments. A key component of the Aid for Trade discussion is the prioritization and integration of trade-related needs in developing countries' national development plans. The WTO is not a development agency but has a mandate from its members to work with other international organizations and the Bretton Woods institutions to bring coherence to trade and development discussions. The Enhanced Integrated Framework for Least-developed countries is part of the wider Aid for Trade initiative.

The US government has provided trade capacity building assistance for many years under a variety of names. In the United States, we use the terms "trade capacity building assistance,' "Aid for Trade'" and "trade-related assistance" interchangeably. This kind of assistance falls under the larger economic growth pillar of the U.S. foreign assistance strategy.

U.S. aid for trade is about giving countries, particularly the least trade-active, the training and technical assistance needed to: make decisions about the benefits of trade arrangements and reforms; implement their obligations to bring certainty to their trade regimes; and enhance such countries' ability to compete in a global economy.