WASHINGTON - U.S.
Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick will travel to Paris, France next week
to discuss trade issues at the annual meeting of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) and to meet bilaterally with his ministerial
colleagues to review the current state of global trade negotiations.
negotiations were launched at the 4th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial
in Doha, Qatar in November 2001. The 5th Ministerial, viewed as an important
mid-point to the negotiations, is scheduled for September 10-14, 2003 in Cancun,
a once in a generation opportunity to achieve bold, multilateral trade
liberalization. It is critical that Ministers focus now on the key elements of
these historic negotiations. The United States played a key role in helping to
launch the current Doha trade negotiations, and we remain steadfastly committed
to a successful conclusion that delivers historic trade liberalization across
the three core areas of agriculture, services and goods," said Zoellick. "One of
the Doha Development Agenda's primary goals to is to promote development
throughout the world, particularly among poor countries, and we shouldn't settle
for half steps that won't deliver meaningful results.
"This is a very
sensitive time in the world economy and in these negotiations. The road to
Cancun requires us all to continue exploring ways to bridge differences and
develop the consensus necessary to move forward," added Zoellick.
expected to meet with French Economic Minister Mer on Monday, April 28th, and to
continue with bilaterals with several developing countries on Tuesday. Following
the OECD meetings on Wednesday, April 30th, Zoellick and European Union Trade
Commissioner Pascal Lamy will hold bilateral meetings on Thursday, May 1 to
continue exploring ways to move the trade talks forward.
On Friday, May 2
Zoellick will be in Berlin, Germany for meetings with government officials and
German business leaders. On Saturday, May 3, Zoellick will give midday remarks
at the Munich Economic Summit and will meet with business executives to discuss
the importance of the Doha WTO negotiations.
particularly for agricultural products, is widely considered to be at the heart
of the Doha trade negotiations. In order to spur momentum in the talks, the
United States has made bold proposals in all three core negotiation
• The United
States has made proposals to liberalize global trade in services, designed to
remove foreign barriers in areas such as financial services, telecommunications,
and environmental services. According to a University of Michigan study, a
one-third cut in global barriers to trade in services would increase U.S. annual
income by $150 billion. Total elimination of barriers in services would raise
U.S. annual income gain by over $450 billion. For Western Europe, a one-third
cut in global barriers to trade in services would increase their annual income
by $103 billion; total elimination by $313 billion.
Trade in services
also benefits developing countries greatly. Services liberalization and
modernization can help developing countries jump start the economic growth
necessary for reducing poverty. The World Bank estimates that services
liberalization by developing countries could yield income gains for them of
nearly $900 billion annually.
• The United
States was the first WTO member to put forward a comprehensive agricultural
trade reform proposal, calling for elimination of export subsidies, cuts of $100
billion in annual allowed global trade-distorting domestic subsidies, and
lowering average allowed global tariffs from 62 percent to 15 percent. The
United States also proposed that WTO members agree in this negotiation to a
specific date for elimination of agricultural tariffs and trade-distorting
Also according to
the World Bank, developing countries would gain nearly two-thirds of the benefit
from global free trade in goods including agriculture. Their increase in annual
income would amount to $539 billion. The bank further found that free trade
could help lift 300 million people out of poverty - a number greater than the
entire population of the United States.
• The United States proposed
eliminating all tariffs on consumer and industrial goods by 2015. The U.S. plan
for zero tariffs is comprehensive, would benefit both developed and developing
nations, and would eliminate tariffs on the nearly $6 trillion in annual world
goods trade, lifting the economic fortunes of workers, families, businesses, and
consumers. A University of Michigan study found that the U.S. economy would
expand by $95 billion as a result of tariff-free trade - contributing to
job-creation and higher wages. The same study found gains of up to $192 billion
for the EU and EFTA together (Western Europe).