WASHINGTON - The United States will continue its leadership in spurring momentum on the Doha Development Agenda in the World Trade Organization (WTO), advancing trade liberalization proposals and strategies in key meetings, and holding bilateral and other consultations next week in Geneva.
These meetings mark an important point in the Doha trade agenda as negotiators move to substantive, detailed discussions on the road to the 5th WTO Ministerial scheduled in Cancun, Mexico, in September 2003. This ministerial will be the mid-point of the three-year negotiations launched in Doha, Qatar, last November.
At Doha, 144 WTO members agreed on an agenda and timetable for liberalizing trade and strengthening the rules of the system. The WTO members agreed to establish a Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) to oversee these negotiations. The Geneva meeting is the first session of the TNC where senior, capital-based representatives will attend.
Over the week of July 15-19, Deputy United States Trade Representative Peter Allgeier will join the U.S. Ambassador to the WTO, Linnet Deily, in:
• a meeting of the TNC to review the status of the work agenda on Doha;
• discussions on building the capacity of developing nations to participate in trade liberalization;
• informal meetings with individual delegations, coalitions and groupings of various WTO members;
• various other bilateral meetings.
Ambassadors Allgeier and Deily will also meet with the new incoming Director General of the WTO, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, who will take office on September 1.
Ambassadors Allgeier and Deily will meet with the African Group, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries (GRULAC), among other consultations. In addition, the United States will host an informal meeting of senior capital based officials from a broad and diverse group of WTO members.
In recent weeks, the United States has offered proposals to liberalize global trade in agriculture Specifically, the U.S. is leading a coalition, which includes most WTO members, that calls for the elimination of export subsidies in five years. The United States also is seeking significant reforms of "state trading enterprise" (STE) companies.
In addition, the United States recently proposed a framework for easing WTO rules to allow poor countries to gain greater access to drugs needed to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other public health crises.
On July 1, the United States announced proposals for liberalizing global trade in services, designed to remove foreign barriers in areas such as financial services, telecommunications, and environmental services.
Besides helping to lead in the Doha negotiations, the United States is moving ahead aggressively on other trade initiatives at the regional and bilateral level, including the Free Trade Area of the Americas, bilateral FTA negotiations with Chile and Singapore, and exploring FTA's with other trading partners.