USTR - U.S. Agrees to More Than Double Contributions to Aid for Trade by 2010 - Already the Largest Single-Country Provider, U.S. Will Help Least Developed Realize Potential of Doha Round
Office of the United States Trade Representative

 

U.S. Agrees to More Than Double Contributions to Aid for Trade by 2010 - Already the Largest Single-Country Provider, U.S. Will Help Least Developed Realize Potential of Doha Round
12/14/2005


HONG KONG - In his opening speech to the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman announced today the United States plans to more than double its contributions to global Aid for Trade, from $1.3 billion in 2005 to $2.7 billion in grants annually by 2010.

This is consistent with the priority the United States has given to providing developing countries with the tools to benefit from the global trading system.

U.S. cumulative spending in 2001-2005 totaled over $4.2 billion in grants. With today's announcement it is anticipated that cumulative U.S. government spending on Aid for Trade will more than double over the next five years.

"As partners with developing countries, and particularly the least developed, we share the goal of reducing poverty and building their capacity for trade," said Portman. "The new opportunities created by our bold trade proposals in the WTO talks combined with our increased commitment to Aid for Trade will help realize the potential of Doha."

To complement this bilateral assistance, the United States will work diligently to ensure that multilateral donors, when requested, offer trade capacity building assistance as an integral component of development programs, including through existing mechanisms.

The U.S. approach to trade capacity building emphasizes grants - rather than loans - and allocates funds based largely on local needs as determined by recipient countries. U.S. trade capacity building projects to date have helped small and medium size businesses and farmers access markets and promote diversified economic growth around the world.

In anticipation of a successful Doha Round, the United States is working actively to promote more effective Aid for Trade practices, including enhancement of the Integrated Framework, a multi-donor group that helps the least developed countries improve participation in the global trading system. The United States is the largest single-country provider of trade-related assistance, which includes trade-related physical infrastructure, totaling $1.34 billion in FY2005, up 46 percent from ($921 million) in FY2004 (more than double than FY2001).

"We urge Congress to honor the President's budget requests and developing countries to prioritize trade in their development plans to enable us to realize today's commitments," Portman added.

For more information on trade capacity building efforts, please review the new U.S. government publication, Participation, Empowerment, Partnership: Seeking Sustainable Results Through U.S. Trade Capacity Building, December 2005.

 
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