USTR - Portman Announces U.S. Contribution to WTO Technical Assistance Efforts
Office of the United States Trade Representative

 

Portman Announces U.S. Contribution to WTO Technical Assistance Efforts
04/06/2006

Trade Coupled with Aid Provides Strongest Results, Portman Says

WASHINGTON – U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman announced today the United States will contribute nearly $1 million for trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) to the World Trade Organization (WTO). This latest contribution will bring total U.S. contributions to WTO TRTA for the Doha Development Agenda to almost $6 million since the launch of negotiations in November 2001.

"Trade coupled with aid and technical assistance provides the strongest results for developing countries," said Ambassador Portman.

"Breaking down trade barriers is essential to economic growth and poverty reduction, but we must ensure that developing countries have the tools to take advantage of these new market openings," Portman said. "Our contribution to the TRTA is part of the United States’ broader efforts to provide ‘Aid for Trade’ to developing countries."

There is a lot at stake in the Doha Round – particularly for developing countries. The World Bank estimates that global free trade in goods would raise developing countries’ income by $142 billion in 2015 according to a static estimate.

The WTO’s technical assistance program provides training to help developing countries by enhancing their ability to understand issues, assess their interests and participate effectively in the negotiations. It also assists developing countries in meeting their WTO obligations and benefiting from the results of WTO negotiations.

The U.S. contribution to the WTO was appropriated by Congress as part of the funds it provides to the State Department for voluntary contributions to international organizations. It is just one part of a much broader U.S. assistance efforts. The United States is the largest single country donor of trade capacity building assistance.

Total United States funding for trade capacity building activities in FY2005 was $1.3 billion, up from $903 million in the prior year. At the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong, Ambassador Portman announced plans to more than double U.S. contributions to global Aid for Trade, from $1.3 billion in 2005 to $2.7 billion in grants annually by 2010.

 

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