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GENEVA UPDATE: Ambassador Kirk Speaks at the Opening Plenary of the 7th Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference

Ambassador Kirk delivered remarks at the Opening Plenary of the 7th Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference earlier today. Read the remarks below.

"Thank you Mr. Chairman, Director General, distinguished Members. It is an honor for me to address this 7th Ministerial Conference.

As countless studies have demonstrated over the last several months, the WTO's rules-based system promotes openness and predictability in global markets, and this leads to increased trade and improved prospects for economic growth in all of our Member economies. As our economic recovery begins and deepens worldwide, trade can and should play an important role in the restoration of global prosperity.

The global economy needs the WTO Members to deliver a strong outcome in the Doha Round of negotiations - and that is one that opens markets and creates significant new trading opportunities in agriculture, industrial goods and in services, generating global economic growth and development.

The United States is committed to achieving such an outcome, and I believe that success is possible in 2010. But substance will drive our progress, and success is not something that any one Member, or any small group of Members, can deliver or dictate. The circle of leadership within the WTO has grown broader and more inclusive and Each and every Member of this leadership group has a responsibility.

While developed countries will continue to have a significant role in the global economy, advanced developing countries are playing an ever-increasing role as well. According to the International Monetary Fund, 58 percent of global economic growth between now and 2014 will be provided by China, India, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and the ASEAN countries.

The creation of new trade flows and meaningful market opening, particularly in key emerging markets, is required to fulfill the development promise of Doha.

Success is not something that Negotiating Group Chairs, or our esteemed Director General, can deliver for us.

[While w]ork programs and stock takings [are] useful, we cannot confuse process and substance. All shortcuts will only lead to further delays and dead ends. There simply is no substitute for the hard work of negotiations in all formats among Members - ranging from large groups to direct bilateral engagement.

For our part, the United States' negotiating team is ready to move into the endgame. We have made our specific interests well known: that meaningful market opening is required to complete the Round. And we are looking for concrete signs from other members that they are ready to join us in that commitment. We welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the goal to which we have all committed ourselves."


WTO Opening Plenary
Opening Plenary of the 7th Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference at the International Conference Center in Geneva, Switzerland.

ARK at Plenary
Ambassador Kirk speaks at the Opening Plenary session.