USTR - U.S. Pledges Further $1 Million in Trade Capacity Assistance at the WTO
Office of the United States Trade Representative

 

U.S. Pledges Further $1 Million in Trade Capacity Assistance at the WTO
Contact: Richard Mills, Ricardo Reyes | (202) 395-3230 04/04/2003

WASHINGTON - Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Peter Allgeier announced today in Geneva that the United States will contribute $1 million to a voluntary World Trade Organization (WTO) Global Trust Fund to provide technical assistance for developing country trade capacity-building efforts. Allgeier is in Geneva for a Senior Officials Meetings at the WTO to discuss ongoing trade negotiations in preparation for the 5th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, September 10-14, 2003.

"The United States is committed to seeing the Doha Development Agenda be successfully achieved," said Ambassador Allgeier. "The Doha Development Agenda offers great promise to the developing world. But unfortunately, many developing countries do not have the capacity to fully participate which not only dampens their voice but slows down the negotiations."

"Providing assistance to promote trade-related capacity-building in developing ountries is an integral part of promoting their future economic development and prosperity," added Allgeier. "This contribution, in addition to our large bilateral assistance programs that total $638 million in 2002, up from over $598 million in 2001, shows the U.S. commitment helping countries participate more fully in the WTO and will facilitate a constructive negotiating environment."

Developing country members participated in shaping the WTO's 2003 technical assistance plan by submitting over 1045 requests from 120 countries all along the development spectrum.

Background

A key part of the U.S. trade agenda is to help developing nations build the capacity to take part in trade negotiations and then implement the results. The United States has made a number of specific contributions to assist the WTO. In addition to today's announcement, the United States gave $1 million for the WTO Global Trust Fund following the Doha Ministerial, and the United States contributed $250,000 to the WTO's regional trade policy courses in Kenya and Morocco.

Complementing these multilateral efforts, USAID is establishing three new Regional Competitiveness Hubs to promote African integration into the multilateral trading system and help Africans take advantage of trade opportunities, including those created the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Hubs are being set up at USAID's three regional missions in Africa - in Botswana, Kenya and Ghana.

The Integrated Framework (IF) is the mechanism for coordinating the work of six multilateral institutions, including the WTO, in mainstreaming trade into the development strategies of the Least-Developed Countries (LDCs). USAID has contributed funds for the past two years to provide additional funding to the Trust Fund in order to fund the Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS).

To help promote timely responses to priorities identified in the IF process, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios set aside $3 million in Fiscal Year 2002 to support follow-u projects managed by USAID overseas missions. A number of USAID overseas missions are also programming funds from their own budgets for this purpose.

These contributions complement other U.S. efforts to provide technical assistance for developing countries.

 
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