GENEVA - United States Trade Representative Rob Portman today strongly endorsed the bold statement of G-7 Finance Ministers on the world trade talks known as the Doha Development Agenda. He also welcomed the substantial growth in “aid for trade” - expected to be $4 billion annually - that will help ensure trade is an important contributor to development, particularly for the least developed countries.
To follow is Ambassador Portman’s statement:
“The leadership of the G-7 is a major shot in the arm to our efforts at Hong Kong next week. The Doha Development Agenda can generate global growth and reduce poverty, but only if we achieve a high level of ambition in all areas of the negotiation. That is exactly what the G-7 has challenged us to do.
“The G-7 expects spending on aid for trade to grow to $4 billion annually. This is substantial and will provide real help. I fully support the
strong emphasis Ministers placed on assisting the poorest countries build their
capacity to trade, particularly giving priority to infrastructure needs in Africa.
“The fact the Finance Ministers - those who direct interest in development assistance funding and oversee the core missions of the international financial institutions - are making this statement shows the
serious commitment of countries like the United States to the Aid for Trade
“Aid for Trade is an important complement to the world trade talks, but it cannot substitute for the development that can occur from an ambitious round. The United States will continue to push for substantial
improvements in market access in agriculture, manufacturing and services because
this will generate the most benefits for development, including poverty
The United States is the leading provider of trade-related assistance, including trade-related physical infrastructure, with activities totaling $1.34 billion in the 2005 fiscal year, up 46 percent from the year
before. Support has more than doubled since the 2001 fiscal year.