USTR - Transcript of Press Conference with USTR Zoellick At the Conclusion of WTO General Council Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland
                 
The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Transcript of Press Conference with USTR Zoellick At the Conclusion of WTO General Council Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland
USTR Zoellick discusses the successful conclusion of meetings of the WTO's General Council in Geneva, Switzerland. 08/01/2004


MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be starting in just a few moments. Well, thank you all for coming. We have here today US trade representative Robert Zoellick. He will give a brief opening remarks and then he’ll take your questions. We will be calling on you and if you ask a question, if you could please identify yourself and your news organization and if we could ask everyone to turn off their cell phones please, that would be appreciated. Thank you. Ambassador Zoellick?


ZOELLICK:
Well, let me begin by thanking all of you for staying with us. I learned something that many of you who perhaps operate in
Geneva knew already which is that the WTO has an unusual practice: they do all their work at night. And indeed it’s
even more the case since I see we’re August 1 in Europe so all of you are supposed to be on vacation.

 

The first week in January, I wrote a letter to all Trade Ministers in the World Trade Organization, urging that the year 2004 not be a lost year for the Doha global trade negotiations. 

 

Tonight, 147 economies have ensured that 2004 will go down as a productive year for the Doha trade negotiations.

 

President Bush confounded conventional wisdom by empowering me and my colleagues in the Administration to make trade success a priority, even in an election year, because he believes that open markets build stronger economies and help create jobs in the United States and opportunity around the world.

 

Today’s decision is a crucial step for global trade.  After the detour in Cancun, we have put these WTO negotiations back on track.  We have laid out a map for the road ahead.  And next we’re going to have to negotiate the speed limits for how far and how fast we will lower trade barriers to growth and development. 

 

We’re advancing a strategic economic opportunity… an opportunity now to combine an upturn in global economic growth with global reduction in barriers to trade, so that we can deepen, broaden and extend this economic expansion.

 

But there’s still a lot of work to be done. Today’s framework is a milestone.  Just consider some of the important decisions we’ve taken this week. 

 

In Agriculture, we’ve agreed to make historic reforms in global agricultural trade.  This agreed framework envisions the complete elimination of agricultural export subsidies, which the United States and others have been seeking for decades. It envisions new disciplines on export credits and, for the first time, on state trading enterprises.

 

The preservation of disciplined food aid programs for humanitarian and development needs.  A global commitment to harmonize cuts in global trade-distorting farm subsidy programs, to ensure that countries with higher subsidies are subject to deeper cuts, a goal long sought by the U.S. to level the playing field with the European Union and Japan.

 

In fact, our new framework would cut allowed domestic support for agriculture more in the first year than was done in the entire Uruguay Round. The agreement would also open markets for farm products, with a commitment – for the first time in agriculture – to the concept that higher tariffs have to face bigger cuts.

 

The package also commits all of us to substantial improvements in market access for all agriculture products, an important principle for a diversified farm producer like the United States.

 

And we worked in an excellent spirit with our partners in West Africa to produce a good approach to open markets for cotton ambitiously and expeditiously within the agriculture negotiations.  But the text also recognizes the unique development needs of these economies; and the United States is proud to already assist them with innovative programs to combine aid and trade.

 

In manufactured products, which account for nearly 60% of all global trade, we have agreed to work towards expanded market access in everything from cars to computers to consumer goods. We’ll see broad cuts in tariffs through a formula that would cut higher tariffs faster, supplemented by the possibility of complete elimination of tariffs in key sectors. And we’ll undertake new work in the area of non-tariff barriers and increase the important area for companies around the world.

 

In the area of services, we’ve agreed to intensify our negotiations to open services markets, which now account for over half of most of our economies, both developed and developing.  And importantly, we’ve made clear that services are definitely on par with agriculture and manufacturing as a “core” market access area.

 

Finally, an area that hasn’t gotten as much attention but I believe will provide tremendous benefits for small businesses, is that we’re launching negotiations on trade facilitation.  What this means is that we’ll try to cut the red tape and reduce the cost of selling into some countries by perhaps 5, or 10 or 15%.  We’ll seek expedited customs treatment for express deliveries, and to improve the often Byzantine customs procedures that cause shipments delay and frustration for small exporters.

 

In summary, we’ve come a very long way since Cancun.  We’ve taken an important step toward opening markets and creating new opportunities.  We have much left to do.  But we can build on the good work of this week and we can deliver a result that will make life better for millions of our citizens, in developed and developing countries alike.

 

To close, I hope you’ll permit me to thank the extraordinary team that has worked with me day and night – I should say nights, early mornings, in fact around the clock – especially from the office of the Trade Representative but also from the Department of Agriculture.  

 

In particular, I want to express my deep appreciation for the leadership and the skill of the USTR Deputies here with me:  Linnet Deily, who’s here as our deputy in Geneva, Peter Allgeier, and Al Johnson – and the indefatigable head of our WTO team, Dorothy Dwoskin.

 

Undersecretary of Agriculture J.B. Penn and his team also worked with us extremely closely with the good spirit, the cooperation that we’ve come to expect from Secretary Veneman and her team.

 

I also want to thank…there are many others, as Pascal, said from around the world of course starting with the Director General. But I want to express my respect in particular for the hard work of my Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim, who played a key role in this result. And, of course, I could not close without thanking Pascal Lamy, the EU Commissioner for Trade, who has been an extraordinary partner.  His skill, his strong sense of public purpose, and, I have to say his political courage were fundamental to our success.  Pascal’s accomplishments and his service and I might add his contributions to trans-Atlantic relations have given him a place in that special corps of European leaders.

 

So thank you. I’ll be pleased to take your questions. And could you mention your name and organization.

 

REPORTER: Jamil Chade, O Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil. In Cancun you mentioned that there were can do and “won’t do” countries, how do you classify what happened here and how different was the G-20 behavior this time than was in Cancun when some critics said it was not a constructive element. Thank you.

 

ZOELLICK: Well, to start, I guess we “did do.” So it’s “can done.” [laughter] And as I said in my remarks, I think Minister Amorim, and I want to say his team too, were part of that process. There was a question, I think, for the Director General about sort of the difference with Cancun and it made me reflect. You know, I think one of the aspects is that at first people recognized our point that I’ve stressed since the first part of the year when I was trying to revive this process which is that Cancun was a lost opportunity. It wasn’t a success. Didn’t do anybody any good and so I think it helped bring a group of people you know to the fore to try to make this work. And I think Minister Amorim and his team were part of that group. There’re others. We had some excellent leadership from a number of the African countries that have helped pull together a disparate group to try to accomplish something.

 

A second thing that I thought was recognition on the substantive side. In Cancun, I think trying to move the four Singapore issues was too much particularly for a number of the developing countries. Some of you follow this closely may recall this is one of the points I made in my January letter, I suggested dropping two of the items. And frankly, after a meeting that I had in Mombassa with the African group in February when I was traveling around the world, I suggested we drop the third so that was a substantive change.

 

The other key substantive change which was very clear and you heard Commissioner Lamy and Commissioner Fischler, who I do believe deserves strong compliments for his efforts in farm reform in the European Union, is that we had to eliminate export subsidies. That was a sine qua non of moving forward. So there was a substantive series of lessons.

 

Then on the procedural part, there’s no doubt this is an unwieldy organization and so it very much depends on a network of countries stepping forward, part of that depends on the ministers’ inclination, part of it depends on the empowerment that they get from their leaders. As I mentioned, I think a lot of people were surprised at the start of the year when the United States, facing an election, said we want to push this forward. We don’t want it to be a lost year. And that comes because I think the world knows my boss is pretty strong in his commitments on moving things forward. And he was committed to do this. And so I think the, in particular, while there’re a number of countries in the G-20 and obviously Minister Nath worked very closely with us in the FIPs group from India, I think Brazil is particularly to be complimented because it’s still an unwieldy group. When we were in the negotiations, there was some times a position by the G-20, and sometimes a G-20 member was a member of the G-33 so sometimes there’d be a different position. This is inherent in the nature of the challenge. Just like Africa group members can be LDC members. And I think on many occasions Brazil and Minister Amorim stepped forward with the position in agreement with other things we’d done. And I think that made it a little harder for others not to come along while they maintained their own sovereign decisions. So as I said I think Celso personally a good partner, Clodoaldo the undersecretary did a fantastic job. Felippe, the Ambassador here, does very good close work with us so it was a good team effort.

 

Yes?

 

REPORTER:  Ian Swanson with Inside US Trade. Ambassador Zoellick, are you at all disappointed with the outcome on industrial market access, given the fact that the text seems to have to been weakened a bit since Thursday with the addition of this language actually into the annex. And what do you think needs to happen in the next 18 months in order to make real improvements in market access.

 

ZOELLICK: Wasn’t that the same question you asked Lamy? Someone did? Oh. I was sitting in the back. No, I’m not at all disappointed. And I’d basically associate myself with Pascal’s answer.

 

Look, here’s how I would analyze that issue. We had a reasonably good text in Cancun in market access. From the U.S. point of view, I think this is a point that Pascal might have mentioned, there were three core elements that we definitely wanted to preserve. We not only wanted a formula, but we wanted a non-linear formula because that’s the key principle of cutting more from higher tariffs. If you look at the text, it’s line by line as well. Now, and that was one key element, the other key element is the United States has been a strong supporter of sectoral initiatives. Some of you that cover this know the power that the ITA, the Information Technology Agreement, had negotiated in the late 90’s, it’s helped developed and developing countries alike and sort of the information technology business around the world with the assembly operations as well as on the R&D side.

 

And then the third element was the one I mentioned non-tariff barriers which I get increasing attention from our industries because as the world gets more deeply integrated some of these issues to be addressed within sectors and across sectors become very, very important. Now, to move ahead the manufacturing goods issues which recall as I mentioned still represent 60 % of world trade, we knew we had to move agriculture and that was going to be a challenge because we knew it would take until the last, gee I hoped evening or late night, but I found early morning for agriculture. And so there was always going to be the challenge that some countries would be reluctant to engage as much on the goods topic and so that led to the idea by Ambassador Johannson of Iceland, I believe, to suggest that with this chapeau.

 

Now I was quite active in the internal process trying to refine that chapeau for some of the interested, the Africa group, there’s point that Brazil raised on question of sectorals, a topic I had covered in my January letter about how we need to move from mandatory sectorals to a critical mass and so frankly, I always thought the logic of putting that in the first point made sense and it certainly helped the Africa group move forward. And we were quite careful to, if you parse the words closely, you’ll see there’s words like focus on the specifics and there were, of course, some runs that taking out those sort of words which didn’t happen. So I think that’s a very important product for us as you heard for the European Union as well. We have more, Pascal uses the term offensive I’m not as comfortable with that term but anyways, sort of market opening efforts in agriculture than the European Union might but we certainly want to press forward in goods and services as well.

 

Now, I think the second part of your question goes to sort of what’s next? There will certainly be hard work ahead in terms of developing that formula. There had been earlier work done, even before Cancun in terms of ideas for that formula, there’ll be work done in terms of trying to determine what the sectorals will look like and what the critical mass will be in them. There’s actually been some good work done already on the non-tariff barriers. And this is a way where frankly in a kind of more modern WTO, we’re going to need to work increasingly, we all draw on our private sectors give us some good sense of what the real challenges are and many of these private sectors deal, operate in developed, developing countries, they help us work through some of these issues. That’s why I suggest trade facilitation might be the real sleeper benefit from this round. We found that in APEC, and in our bilateral agreements, can be very important.

 

So there’s no doubt that there’s challenging work ahead but I think the structure, like the structure in agriculture is a positive one and definitely suits the interests that we came into this part of the negotiation wanting to achieve.

 

Let me see…anybody over here? No? 

 

REPORTER:  Abdel Nabi, Kuweit News Agency.  Ambassador Zoellick, Sir, you must have been hearing about the NGOs and their reactions to the role of the United States during the past five days in the negotiations and they have said that there was arm twisting, there was many kinds of influences, of course we don’t know them. Could you react to that position of the NGOs?  They were very critical of the US role in the negotiations.

 

ZOELLICK:  Twisting my arm or somebody elses?  Well to be honest, I really didn’t know about the criticism, but that’s because last night we finished about 7 a.m. and I got about an hour’s sleep before trying to close agriculture and then move on to the NAMA and the other issues, and the night before that I think it was, was it, finishing with cotton at four or five.   So I really haven’t been too much in the outside world.  I will say I managed to run out around with what looked like a lot of NGOs, but I think were a lot of people in the street just having a good time. [laugher]   So I don’t know.  They didn’t bother me on my run.  But maybe they didn’t know who I was.  I shouldn’t have warn them for the morning I guess.

 

Look, this is an organization that operates by consensus.  And you have to work very closely with countries.  Frankly one of the points that has been very important to me is that I have been fortunate to build a number of strong personal relationships with ministers, ambassadors from countries, developed and developing, and I continue to build more.  And this is actually an interesting point about some of the free trade agreements that we are doing or have done. It helps sort of build a cadre that you can go to for help.  And I think the key, to give you some insight on this, is that nobody can twist anybodies’ arm.  You have to agree on something.  You have to sort of get people to treat them with respect and recognize that there is a common interest in moving forward.  And so I can just think of so many examples.  Last night when we were, you saw the agriculture text that first came out.  Well then, what happened, well you had a group of 25-30 countries, often representing many others, suggest the types of changes that they wanted to have.  And then people would oppose them. And my good colleague Al Johnson was sitting behind me and did me a great service.  I’ve got it right straight in my pocket. He gave me a little list of what we thought might be a package.  He wrote it in red.  I marked OK.  I then worked with some of these other key ministers, Lamy, Amorim, the Chair, and frankly started thinking from what I heard where we could kind of put together a package.  Now that involved sitting down with my Chinese counterparts and working out a particular issue with them. It met a particular concern for Argentina.  Obviously issues for India. And that was building on the FIPS process that you’ve heard about of trying to do things. 

 

Probably the most warm one is the one that we spent about 20 hours with the West African ministers.  And that one really started a little earlier, because they had visited the United States.  I tried to see them in Mauritius about two weeks ago, but they weren’t there.  I met their Ambassadors.  And in just one more element of supreme sacrifice, they had one day in Washington that I was there which just happened to be my birthday on Sunday and we got together and we talked about these issues. And I suspect before the end of the year I’ll even have a visit to West Africa. So these are the things. You know Mauritius. The Mauritian team was fantastic here.  They really were.  Now I was glad I had a chance to visit Mauritius recently and I was talking with Minister Cuttarce but also his Ambassador that did a good job.  We got a lot of help from the Moroccan minister. We just completed a free trade agreement with Morocco.  A lot of the African countries frankly had a very positive attitude towards the United States because, as the US reporters here know, we just managed to pass an extension for AGOA, the African Growth and Opportunity Act. That is very important to them. 

 

So all of these things intersect together. And perhaps, what is not as generally appreciated is that these jobs are as much a question of diplomacy as they are sort of poker game, give and take.  It is trying to solve problems. And you can’t do that by twisting arms.  Now, where it does come in, and you may be interested in the mechanics of this, is that for example when this package was put together on agriculture, there is some point with 147 players that you have to say this is what we can do, and we’ve got to end at this point.  And so it was the idea, and this is never easy, to say, we take this as a package, or not. And that is the decision that countries had to make.  So my sense, particularly in the case of the West Africans, was that we left with warmer ties and good feelings about the process and at least from the warmth of relations I’ve had with many of the ministers here, I’ve had a similar sense.  So actually its an interesting dynamic.  Yes.

 

REPORTER:  Ambassador Zoellick, just to come back to the agricultural negotiations in which you have so intensively all kinds of positions…

 

ZOELLICK:  I think you’d better give your name and association. 

 

REPORTER:  I’m sorry, my name is D. Ravi Kanth, I represent Washington Trade Daily.

 

ZOELLICK:  Formerly Trade and Tariff Daily but we are trying to put the tariffs out of business, right? 

 

REPORTER:  Yes, this is a very difficult question.  I find it difficult to answer.  But my question relates to the agriculture text, in which you have given in to Argentineans on export taxes, India on de minimus, China on developing country STEs and so many things you sort of did part with in last night’s Green Room meeting.  What exactly did the U.S. get in this agriculture package?  It is not very clear.  And secondly, there is an assumption that this particular round is not so much about market access in agriculture, it is just about export competition. Because if you see the kind of conditionalities that are attached in market access, there is no real market penetration anybody can get into your market or you can get into the developing countries market.    Is that correct?

 

ZOELLICK:  Uh, No.  But know I’ll tell you why. First off, your first question was, what did we get out of it.  Well, as I emphasized, the United States has been pushing for the elimination of export subsidies for a very long time.  I worked on the Uruguay Round and that was a big, big hope.  And again, I complement our European colleagues for their work, but they are the only real big export subsidizer.  They have the authority to do five or six billion.  They do three or four billion dollars a year.  That really affects beef and dairy and sugar but it has effects on our vegetable trade which is important which gets no subsidies, has relatively low tariffs, so that is a big, big plus for us in the world.  And that’s where when I referenced Commissioner Lamy’s political courage, that was not an easy one for him to take on.

 

The second point is in the area of domestic subsidies, the United States again, and I remember this from the Uruguay Round, has tried very hard to push the harmonizing principle, you know, in the amber box which are the most trade distorting, the European level varies with exchange rates about 80 billion dollars. The United States is 19.1 billion dollars.  No then there is de minimus and the blue.  But the key point is we now have flatly accepted, better than in Cancun, the harmonizing language and principle now through a tiered formula.  That is a big plus for us at home.

 

Third, this is something that sort of shows how the trade parts fit with reform.  We are obviously still working the blue box concept.  But you see if you look at agricultural negotiations the most egregious subsidies are export subsidies.  Then there is sort of the amber box linked to production and price.  And then there is green box, where it is delinked.  The United States has been trying to move some from amber to blue. And we have something called the counter cyclical payments where they are basically no longer linked to production, but they are linked to price.   That is what we are developing in the concept of the blue box, and that concept is being developed, it is not done yet.  But we do have the CAP and many parties are aware that will be a key area for us going forward.  And then if you then connect that part of the negotiation.  We have a framework for cuts, but he numbers are going to be depend on what we get in market access.  And we have always emphasized, and this is where our position is quite different from the European Union, is that we are willing to cut the subsidies. We want them to get much closer to our levels. But we want open markets too.  In fact, I’ve seen some stories about the United States not being a market opening player.  Actually my challenge here was to create the ability to get markets open in goods, agriculture and service. That is what trade in the WTO should be about.

 

So if you parse through the language closely, and I know you do because you cover this closely, I mention some of these points, you are going to be covering all products.  We have for the first time the harmonizing principle in tariffs and agriculture.  Now, what we weren’t able to do at this stage is develop the particular formula.  And of course, but this is a fair part of special and differential treatment, we had to bring along the European Union, we had to develop a category of sensitive products. This is not new as you recall looking at the Cancun text, that is what Pascal and I were developing long ago.  But even with that you will see that there is an important focus about a combination of tariff cuts and tariff rate quote increases so that every product you still have a substantial increase in market access. That is a very important principle to be moving forward.  And remember one of the things that divided us from some others in Cancun was that we said we want to have the same framework for developed as for developing countries. Which we now have. Everybody has agreed with that. But it is going to be obviously one that is less demanding on the developing countries. So the balance is still there.  If people want us to get the deep cuts in the subsidies that would be part of the reform, and part of the reform is also moving them to the less trade distorting elements of blue and green, then we are going to have to get market access. Now you mentioned a couple of other elements I just want to highlight.  Or another part, for example, we are delighted that -- state trading enterprise has been a major challenge for us, we have an understanding in our bilateral agreement with Australia to move on to elimination at a later point, and now we’ve got the Canadian Wheat Board. That is going to be a very sensitive issue for Canada. But that is going to be something we are going to need to try to pursue in the negotiations. You also mentioned state trading enterprises. We like the language we worked out with China. But that is a good example of the problem solving, is they described what they were trying to do and if you look closely at their language, we worked out something that is really not so much related to the expert purposes as it is to some of their development needs.   Their concern is with hundreds of millions of peasants that they have some ability to use those mechanisms to prevent real problems in their rural areas. This is an issue we had to deal with with India as well. So you raised the example of de minimus.  It was a very important principle for us, that if we were going to be cutting de minimus, that others were at least in the negotiation. Now India has emphasized, it says – by the way the de minimus level is 10 percent, they only probably use about 1 percent – and they emphasize that theirs is for subsistence farmers.  We are not worried about that, we are worried about some other developing countries that might have commercial programs.

 

REPORTER:  Such as?

 

ZOELLICK:  Other countries.  [laugher] Other more commercial competitive countries in agriculture.  And so that is a good example. This was very important to Minister Nath so we tried to work it out, and if you look at the language, pretty tight language, has to be almost all in subsistence farming or resource poor farming.  So that is a good example of you solve somebody’s problem and you maintain you focus on your core principles. I probably should take just one more.  I see people yawning, so goodness knows.

 

IN FRENCH:  I will ask you the same question I asked your friend Mr. Lamy.  Mr. Zoellick, what are the guarantees, because it is true that the Africans have said here in this same place said that they were satisfied, but we know that in the month of September you will see one another again. What are the American guarantees because the Africans are expecting you to act in good faith.  Thank you very much.   Especially on cotton…

 

ZOELLICK:   No, I heard your earlier question that’s why I called on you to make sure.  We’ve been having an excellent group of discussions with not only the five West African countries, including Senegal, which as you know, Senegal wasn’t part of the original four.  [unintelligible] of context, Ambassador Deily, who’s back there, went to Benin as part of a development conference.  And I just want to take a moment on the development, because I think this is going to be very important.  President Bush initiated a new approach to development called the Millennium Challenge Account, which is in my view, has the seeds of being something that could regain more support for development aid in the United States, because it focuses development on countries that by objective criteria have good governance policies, invest in their people, the health and education, and also have sound economic policies.  Fortunately, this shows the good support we have in the Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative was put on the board of that corporation, even though the original proposal didn’t have it.  That’s thanks to Jim Kolbe, the head of the appropriations subcommittee dealing with this.   Senegal, Benin and Mali are all qualified under those standards.  So one of the things I’m quite interested in doing is making sure that program integrates with what we’re trying to do on the trade side.

 

As I mentioned, we were delighted to have ministers from the four countries, not Senegal, in the United States last week, and here our U.S. Department of Agriculture is helping, focusing on marketing methods, biotechnology, thing dealing with pests, and a whole host of things trying to learn together.  And this will have to be a key element, and you’ll see there’s a good reference to that in the front of the document.

 

Now in the trade side, one key point that I think we finally understood together, is that the reality of the international trade negotiations is that you can’t break out one item.  You have to be able to have a package of items, frankly because you bring home some pluses and minuses.  And I think this was a key point that we needed to work with our West African colleagues.  And I think we did.   But they understandably were concerned that cotton not be lost.  And so therefore you can see the steps that we took and the commitments we made, including to a special subcommittee, and the commitments about expeditious and ambitious and specific treatment.  Other elements to make sure that this fear, I wasn’t worried about it happening, but I understand for poor or smaller countries, they’re worried about being overlooked, that we could have that commitment to move together.

 

Now, let’s take one more element that hasn’t got much attention, but we’ve started to talk about much more with our West African colleagues - tariffs and cotton.  We share an interest with the cotton producing countries in lowering tariffs in cotton.  One of the points that the West African ministers got a much better sense of on their visit to the United States is what’s going to happen in the cotton textile trade when the quotas come off at the end of the year.  There’s a lot of analysis suggests that you’re going to have a lot of cotton textile business move to a smaller group of countries.  And developing countries, and some of those developing countries have very, very high tariffs.  So here’s a good point of commonality, in terms of us moving forward.

 

Now, obviously, another key point is export subsidies.  And you can see, we committed to eliminate all export credits over 180 days, something we did to help support the European effort on export subsidies, and add disciplines below, so that should really take care of the export competition pillar.  And what that leaves is the domestic subsidies.  And that really comes back to the question I just answered – which is that, look, we said at the start of the negotiations, I can get support across my agriculture community, for very significant cuts, on the order of 50%, if I get market access.  OK?  And so that gives an example of how we try to work together.

 

So you asked about guarantees.  And I don’t want to duck that term. Because the Ministers talked about that with me.  And I’ll tell you, I was very frank with them as I will be with you.  It is to stay, look, I’m part of a democratic system.  I can’t give a guarantee where I’ll be next year, beyond January 20.  But what I can guarantee them is first, if we broke down again, we would waste another 11 months as we did after Cancun.  And that did nobody any good.  At least that long I suspect we would have wasted.  And the other thing that I can guarantee, is that I’ll work with them on the issue, as I have been on the development and the trade side, and that we can try to push together, on these items.  And I think that this is where some of the confidence building comes in, is the sense that they could see not only my commitment but those elsewhere in the U.S. government, to try to help.  But I want to emphasize this point.  This is not an easy problem.  This is not going to be a panacea.  But also, and since you’re from Senegal - Senegal has an advantage over some of the others.  It is also diversifying under the African Growth and Opportunity Act in to other businesses.  When I was in Mauritius in January of 2003, there were billboards about some of the new Senegalese, sort of air transport, going to New York actually, because it’s part of the expanding trading system.

 

So you know part of this is the larger picture of development and how cotton fits into it.  So I’m actually, I come away with a very warm feeling towards my colleagues, obviously they pushed very hard as I would expect.  But frankly, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to solve the problems together.

 

I’ve kept you too long and I’ve certainly kept me, so thanks.