Thank you very much, Christophe. Thank you again, Ambassador
and thank all of the ministers, senior representatives, delegates
present. Thank you very much to the panelists.
to say how superb I thought this discussion was today. I really felt
that the tone, the information, it was constructive, and something that
here said I think really strikes home to me, which is that this is
that I’m not sure was had before Cancun.
is not only healthy, but so encouraging that we have had this
discussion here today. And I don’t see this as being the end of the
We have a week ahead, this week, and then we have a Doha
round to complete, and
I look forward to this discussion
say, if I
can, just a few points on some of the issues that have come up. The
first is, there is much that we have in common, I think, here. We have
desire to move forward. There is a common desire to help the
West African cotton
producer. The plight of these producers is
dramatic, as Minister Ngarmbatina set
forth so vividly. It is a problem
that you cannot help to want to address, and
want to address
that common desire and it is encouraging that we have that. There are
some differences that I think we see. My colleague from OXFAM indicated
that he was not sure that the proposal that the United States
has put forward
would affect US subsidies.
you, and we have papers that can go through this, I think we have some
that will be distributed. I can tell you, if for no other reason than
the reaction I’m getting from our cotton producers, it would
subsidies. It would reduce AMS, the most trade distorting
policies under the
aggregate measure of support by 60%. It would hurt.
But it is an important step
to be taken forward. I’m not suggesting
that it is not something that we should
there was some discussion on was the impact of what US subsidies
world prices. In this, there are studies frankly that are in different
places. You have a study from the FAO that puts the number at 2%. You
studies at 4-41/2 %. You have a few studies, one or two,
that go as high as 12%.
But the point that I want to make here is that
I think the bulk of the studies
probably place the effect at maybe 4%.
The median number is 4%, I think. And
that 4%, even if you were to get
rid of subsidies, is not going to save the
plight of the West African
don’t say this
because I’m defending subsidies. I’m not. I’m not. We want to get
of our subsidies. We want to do it. We want to work with the WTO to do it.
We want to get rid of both the US subsidies and the EU subsidies. And I
point out that people have referenced the EU subsidies, which are
4 or 5 times
greater than the US subsidies to cotton farmers. They
reference that is because it points out that we must focus on more than
just subsidies. And this was the point made by a number of speakers.
And I must
reiterate that, and indicate our support for that. And in
particular, I think we
must focus on the issue of market access, which
again, a number of commentors
focused on, on the importance of allowing
the West African economies to not only
access international markets
more effectively for their cotton, but also for
their products up the
referenced. The EU tariff on cocoa is 0.5%. But the tariff on
semi-processed cocoa is 10%, and the tariff on chocolate is 30%. Well,
the opportunity, what is the incentive for somebody to invest
in a West African
chocolate-producing factory when that’s the situation
to lower tariffs across the board. We’ve got to lower them in “ag,”
we’ve got to lower them in NAMA, we’ve got to lower them more
going to be critical to keeping growth.
other area I
would point out in market access is that it is important to keep
level of ambition high. A modest deal will only be more difficult to pass,
to get through the different legislators. And it will not have the
we all want it to have, of truly spurring development. And
in this regard, I
have to point to some recent statements that I have
heard coming out of my
developed party colleagues, that say, you know,
being too ambitious in
agriculture is not development-friendly.
those charges! I think being ambitious in market access, lowering the
barriers that you face as you seek to market your products around the
only for the betterment of development, and is only going to
that I think has come out from our discussions today is the need for
broad based, multi-disciplinary approach. We need to do more on trade. I think
there will be good discussions on that front today, this week.
reiterate what a number of my colleagues have said, which is that
is a very complex problem and it is not simply . . . there is not one
answer to it. It must be multi-disciplinary, there must be a focus on
more efficient production. My colleague the producer was
referencing the problem
with roads, the problem with being able to get
cotton out of the rain and into
the ports, critically important issues.
And we look forward to working with our
counterparts on that and seeing
what more could be done.
last point I
would make is really a call for action. We cannot fight this fight
sector at a time. It does not help cotton but it also does not help cocoa,
it does not help palm oil, it does not help bananas. We must be
across the board. And I would urge that we not despair of
the delay in progress
to such an extent that it prevents us from
keeping a high level of ambition. We
must keep the pressure on.
you asked the question of whether you were right to come. You know,
whether our tickets, the money spent there would not have been better
elsewhere. I truly believe you were right to come. I believe we
were all right
to come, because we must push to make sure that there is
achievement here. And frankly, as much as we as a
developed world can push for
that, it is the African voices, I believe,
the least developed country voices,
that are the most powerful
advocates for that.
urge that the voices that are represented around this table today not be
silent this week. That we speak powerfully in favor of an ambitious
round including in cotton.
ready to be partners with everyone in that effort. We have high
for this week. We have high hopes for cotton. We look forward to a
vigorous series of discussions going forward.