DOHA, QATAR - Today the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the release of a report by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on the U.S. government's initiatives to build trade-related capacity in developing and transition countries. The report is based on a comprehensive survey of federal agencies that shows the United States is devoting more than $555 million in trade-related capacity building assistance to developing countries this year - more than any other single country.
United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick has noted, "We recognize the need to provide aid and other financial support to help developing countries build the capacity to take part in trade negotiations and to follow through on agreements. To this end, USTR, USAID and other U.S. government agencies are implementing cooperative and effective U.S. programs to facilitate trade."
The report points out that the United States is a world leader in helping developing countries benefit from trade liberalization. The President's 2001 International Trade Agenda emphasizes the commitment of the U.S. government to "help developing countries and emerging markets begin the process of integrating themselves into the world trading system."
The United States is committed to working with developing and transition countries to effectively harness trade as an engine of economic growth. Trade provides access to new technology, allows a country to utilize its comparative advantage, helps producers realize economies of scale, increases competition and innovation, and provides consumers access to a greater variety of products at lower prices. The United States provides a broad range of support to build physical, human, and institutional capacity to participate in and benefit from global trading opportunities. Programs are concentrated in the areas of trade facilitation, human resources, labor standards, and infrastructure development. This assistance helps strengthen the rules-based trading system and encourage further trade liberalization, which is essential to promoting global economic growth and alleviating poverty.