U.S.-EU Effort Directed at Expanding and Strengthening Global Trading System
WASHINGTON - U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick released a statement today detailing how the United States and the European Union are cooperating to help launch a new round of global trade negotiations this November. "Continued trade liberalization is essential to promoting global economic growth and alleviating poverty – two themes of the G-7 Summit that the President will attend in Genoa this weekend," Zoellick said.
"The United States and the European Union share a common strategic objective: launching a new trade round," said Zoellick. "The clouds of the failure in Seattle left supporters of trade and development dispirited. We have a responsibility to see that a rules-based trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organization is strengthened, expanded, and deepened. But the U.S. and the EU can only do so much to ensure success. We need the active participation and leadership of other partners, particularly in the developing world."
Zoellick noted that the United States and the European Union have a "high degree of convergence" on issues such as market access negotiations for non-agricultural products and transparency in government procurement, and in areas such as services, trade facilitation, and strengthening the WTO system. The U.S. and EU are also working cooperatively with the World Bank on how it can further support trade capacity building efforts that will benefit developing nations. (Zoellick and the EU's commissioner for trade, Pascal Lamy, met this morning with James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, to discuss trade capacity issues.)
"Trade is an important component of the President's growth agenda, at home and abroad. A new Round can bring real benefits to American workers, farmers, businesses, and families," said Zoellick.
Zoellick's statement outlined a number of areas of importance related to the launch of a new trade round at the WTO ministerial being held in Doha, Qatar this November:
• demonstrating sensitivity to the concerns of developing nations, such as with implementation issues and capacity building efforts,
• promoting an agenda that will garner public support and accommodate the essential interests of WTO members,
• ensuring our trade agenda is consistent with our values,
• framing a general mandate that provides opportunities for concerns to be raised during negotiations, while providing sufficient clarity to enable countries to understand where the negotiations are likely to lead.
Read U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick's complete statement.