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
"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
"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,