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Ambassador Ron Kirk Emphasizes the United States’ Long-Standing Commitments to Least Developed Countries as the WTO Ministerial Conference Concludes in Geneva

Trade talks continued on December 17 at the Eighth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Building on the progress made over the last two days, Ambassador Kirk spent the day in discussions with our trade partners on the Doha Round of negotiations as well as other top priorities including liberalizing trade, building on enforcement standards, and reaffirming the United States’ partnership with Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Earlier this week, in advance of the Ministerial, Ambassador Kirk announced new initiatives to boost trade and investment for LDC members of the WTO, targeting ways that the United States can continue to promote development across the world through trade.

These initiatives build on a robust complement of successful U.S. programs that support trade and investment for LDCs. These programs offer duty-free treatment to a wide range of products from LDCs, while promoting high standards of accountability, transparency, and good governance. The United States provides a wide range of trade-related assistance aimed at helping developing countries, including LDCs, harness the benefits of trade. Additionally, the United States regularly works with the private sector to achieve maximum impact for communities in developing countries. The Obama Administration views trade as a critical part of U.S. development policy and will continue to promote trade policies that support LDCs.

In addition to raising support for the United States’ long-standing commitments to LDCs, the Eighth WTO Ministerial wrapped up today with Ambassador Kirk reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the legal framework of the WTO as a means of lowering trade barriers and enforcing trade standards. Ambassador Kirk is dedicated to the expansion of U.S. export markets and the enforcement of trade standards to support American businesses and families through forums like this WTO ministerial as well as other ongoing negotiations conducted by USTR every day.