Thank you, Chairwoman Miller.
I would to thank our hosts, the people of this vibrant and welcoming
city. Hong Kong is the perfect
setting for this historic meeting.
By embracing free trade, Hong Kong has become one of the world's great
cities, and its people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the
This setting should inspire us. It should inspire us to succeed at the
job we have been sent here to do - raise the living standards of all the world's
people, particularly those in developing countries - by unleashing the power of
more open trade.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create economic
opportunities, to alleviate poverty and to bond nations to each other in the
peaceful pursuit of prosperity.
This is the basis of President Bush's vision he presented in his speech
before the United Nations in September. There is a lot at stake here. We cannot
afford to fail.
The United States has come to Hong Kong determined to
solidify and to build on the gains that we have made since the July 2004
framework. This week, we have been reaching out to our trading partners on a
full range of issues from market access to cotton to fish subsidies. We have been prodding others to go
further in opening their markets, and we are calling for investment in
development linked to trade. Our strong hope and desire is that, with hard work,
we can still conclude an agreement by the end of next year.
You know, I sense that there is a growing consensus among
members. I heard it yesterday in
the introductory speeches.
I've heard it again this morning from both my colleagues Minister Lin,
Minister Deiss, informed by economic analysis and their own experience. I believe members are more open to
flexibility and more understanding of the importance of open trade because they
believe it can deliver tangible benefits to their citizens. We must continue our
pursuit, therefore, of knocking down trade-distorting subsidies, expanding
market access in agricultural and industrial goods and services.
More than two months ago, in a bid to jumpstart the talks in
advance of this meeting here in Hong Kong, the United States put forward a bold
and comprehensive proposal to eliminate all agricultural export subsidies by
2010, to substantially reduce and eventually eliminate altogether
trade-distorting domestic subsidies. Most importantly, especially for the
developing world, we called for greater market access, meaning cuts, real cuts,
in tariffs and elimination of quotas.
Minister Lin's economic analysis is exactly right. All the
studies point to one thing: the development benefits of Doha will come from
market access. I believe the
proposal energized the talks at a very critical stage.
Unfortunately, I also believe that energy has now dissipated
a bit, while we wait for a number of key members who cannot seem to agree to a
balanced package in agriculture. As we gather here, I must tell you that I
believe there remains only one way to break the current deadlock in agriculture.
It requires a convergence on reducing tariffs in the relatively protected
agricultural sector. Not in one country or another, but globally, worldwide, a
framework that we can all agree to.
Again, I join other countries in the developed and developing
world in calling for our trading partners, in Europe and elsewhere, to agree to
this global formula that truly meets the Doha requirement of substantial
improvement in market access.
At the same time, we must make progress on a balanced package
that not just includes agriculture, but also includes further reductions in
non-agricultural tariffs and barriers to trade and services. This is only fair. There needs to be a parallelism here,
too, and a balance here, too.
After all, manufactured goods now account for 75% of global
commerce. What's more, progress in this area is also important to the developing
economies. Think about it. Recall that 70% of the tariffs paid by developing
countries are paid to other developing countries.
So in addition to agriculture, we must make progress across
the board. We can't let our generation's opportunity slip. Here's what we would
propose that we commit to this week, in the next few days.
One, in agriculture, any forward progress on market access
would be more than welcomed. But
even if we can't make progress in market access, we should be able to set a date
for the agreement we've already made to eliminate all forms of export
Second, in non-agricultural market access, we should agree to
the structure that adheres to the principle that benefits flow from reducing the
highest tariffs the most. The so-called Swiss formula -- with two coefficients
-- is what this group ought to adopt in the next few days.
Third, in the area of trade and services, we must challenge
each other to offer better quality market access commitments, particularly in
key sectors such as financial services, telecommunications, computer-related
services, environmental services, express delivery, distribution, and energy
services. And this week, we should
set a new deadline for tabling a revised and improved offers in services.
Fourth, although we may not achieve all we had hope for this
week, let us set another deadline to keep the pressure on. It is going to be tempting after Hong
Kong to take a deep breath, won't it?
We can't let that happen.
Minister Lin talked about an aggressive work plan after Hong Kong. We also need to push up against the
date. We should not leave without
setting a date early next year to come together again, this time to break the
deadlock on the major core issues so our negotiators can complete work by the
end of 2006.
Finally, and extremely important to the success of Doha, we
must be proactive this week in giving the least developed countries development
assistance, and we must support capacity building to complement the progress we
are trying to make in opening markets and unleashing trade.
The United States is already the largest donor of aid for
trade in the world. We believe in it.
We prioritized it. We
provided $1.3 billion to those separate issues, and that is a 46% increase from
last year. Our spending on trade-related assistance, in fact, has more than
doubled in the past five years.
Overall, in that five year period, we have provided a
cumulative of $4.5 billon in grants, not loans, in grants. These are to ensure countries build the
governmental and physical infrastructure needed to fully participate in and
benefit from the global trading system.
We believe in aid for trade. We believe we must do more. To put our resources behind that
sentiment and to help make this ministerial meeting a success, I am announcing
today that the United States will double its commitment We will double our contribution
for aid for trade from US$1.3 billion in 2005, to US$2.7 billion annually by
Of course, we will continue to urge Congress to pass the
President's budget request in these areas.
And we will encourage developing and least-developed countries to
prioritize trade in their development plans. I must underscore, as others have before
me, that these funds and the additional money announced today must go
hand-in-hand with the marketing openings that are part of Doha.
Expanding markets, eliminating trade-distorting subsidies, is
the core. And the aid for trade
announced today is a complement to that, not a substitute for it. There have
been some ups and downs in the last five years, which is to be expected when
almost 150 countries get together and grapple with tough issues that have
economic and political implications back home. It is not easy. But the time has come to stop postponing
the toughest work. I believe that
either we move forward or we risk moving backward. toward protectionism that
will stunt economic growth and will harm the developing world the most.
So this week, let's recommit ourselves to action. Let's work with vision and political
courage and hope. In doing so
together, my colleagues, we can make history and we can meet the Doha