Statement from Gretchen Hamel, USTR spokeswoman, regarding draft texts released today:
The draft texts released today by the chairs of the Agriculture and NAMA negotiating groups are, as expected, wide-ranging and complex. We thank the chairmen, Crawford Falconer and Don Stephenson, for their thoughtful work. Both of the texts will demand close analysis as we develop a comprehensive U.S. reaction.
During this period we will continue to work closely with the Congress and our key domestic stakeholders. We look forward to next week’s work in Geneva, when we will exchange with our trading partners initial reactions to the texts and discuss how to take the negotiations forward into the fall.
It is important to note that the Chairs’ issuance of draft texts at this stage is a single step in a longer term process aimed at establishing “modalities” -- the detailed negotiating framework needed for both agricultural and non-agricultural market access in order for the Doha negotiations to enter their final stage.
Both chairs have indicated that revisions of these drafts will follow, based upon Members’ comments and consultations.
It is also important to note that Agriculture and NAMA are only two pillars of the negotiation. The United States will continue to press for an ambitious result for the third pillar, Services, which is essential in order to reach a successful conclusion to the Doha Round.
The United States will participate actively and constructively in the upcoming consultations and negotiations over the Agriculture and NAMA texts, with the aim of ensuring that the revised texts define a clear path for an ambitious and balanced result that generates economic growth and development through new trade flows and new market opportunities.