"Follow-Up to Hong Kong"
As Prepared for Delivery
Today’s session presents an important opportunity to take stock of the Doha
Development Agenda at the most critical juncture faced by these negotiations
since they were launched in November 2001.
I’m delighted to be here today in my current capacity as Deputy USTR to
present the US perspective.
U.S. determination to conclude the negotiations successfully before the end
of this year remains as strong as ever. A change in U.S. leadership does not
diminish at all our objective: a meaningful and ambitious result.
The guiding core principle of the Doha Development Agenda remains the same:
We can only achieve success if the negotiations produce significant, new market
History shows us that success will not result from changes about what is
"realistic" or "reasonable" ambition. As the co-chairs of the OECD Trade
Committee stated in their letter to ministers, the equation for success is
simple: to achieve significant improvements from the actual conditions that
currently exist in the markets— real results, not just "cuts on paper". That is the
standard we are prepared to negotiate and support. We look to everyone to join
us in this endeavor.
History also shows that leadership in trade must be exercised in bold,
politically courageous moves with concrete proposals to lift the negotiations to
a big overall result. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and we cannot
The U.S. believes we accomplished this standard last fall with our
meeting the challenge to put forward something meaningful and real on domestic
support. We are still looking for as meaningful and real a response from others
– both developed and
advanced developing countries – on agricultural market access.
The challenge of leadership within the global trading system is not met by
incremental steps, such as "sweeteners" to proposals that already fall far short
or by resisting tariff cuts in the name of preserving trade preferences. This is
the Doha Development Agenda. Development is not there by accident. There are far
better ways to support poor countries without relegating them to niche markets.
To repeat a simple truth: the core of our work is opening markets and
creating new economic opportunity for all of us, but particularly for the
developing world. According to the World Bank, 63 percent of the benefits to
developing countries from full trade liberalization would come in agriculture
and 93 percent of those benefits would come in improved market access.
Indeed, for the developing world, most of all, an ambitious result from Doha
is necessary. Time is short and we are concerned that we are in a state of limbo
because we have not been able to focus on the market access task and have
perhaps not been able to emphasize the agricultural, industrial tariffs or
services outcomes that are necessary. There are many issues associated with this
round and we are very supportive in a variety of negotiating tables but
ultimately we need to achieve full modalities sooner rather than later in
agriculture, in NAMA and to have a successful outcome in services as well.
Once we have the modalities in place – even so-called "full modalities" – we still have an enormous amount
of work to do, such as preparing our line-by-line tariff schedules in
agriculture and NAMA. And even that challenging task is only the beginning of
the final negotiating process.
So we have a huge challenge facing us in the days ahead. But we can still do
it. If real leadership and political will are excercised in these upcoming
weeks, we can rapidly be back on a path towards a successful Doha outcome.
For our part, I would simply state that the United States is firmly committed
to achieving an ambitious, robust agreement that we all signed on for at Doha
and in Hong Kong. We seek real results. We seek impact. We seek new trade flows.
These rounds are a once in a generation opportunity. This is a doable
proposition. We look forward to getting it done.