WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab will meet with trade and agriculture officials at the 20th anniversary summit of the Cairns Group coalition in Cairns, Australia between September 20-22, 2006. Ambassador Schwab will be joined by Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, and both officials will continue to lead the United States’ efforts to reinvigorate the Doha Round multilateral trade negotiations.
The trip follows Ambassador Schwab’s recent meetings with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and G-20 group of developing countries to continue the United States efforts to negotiate an ambitious and balanced agreement that meets the economic growth and development mandate that launched the Doha Round. The formal WTO talks were suspended in late July.
"Our friends in the Cairns Group share our goal for an ambitious outcome for the Round. Building on my meetings with the ASEAN and G-20 groups, we will work together and explore creative solutions to unlock the Doha Round and realize its full potential," said Ambassador Schwab. "For 20 years these countries have been true leaders and allies in our efforts to create and expand economic opportunities through opening markets across the world. I am confident the meeting with Cairns officials will strengthen our collective resolve to keep working for success in the WTO and start laying the groundwork for restarting the negotiations."
The Cairns Group is comprised of 18 agricultural exporting countries from Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. The Group is made up of both developed and developing countries and has been an active force in agricultural trade reform for 20 years. The Group continues to work closely with the United States to pursue a successful conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Round that will generate real trade flows and economic growth for all members.
Cairns Group members include Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Uruguay.