US Won't Accept Half Measures on Global Trade Deal
Greater market access for agriculture, goods and services form the foundation of the US position
GENEVA, Switzerland - 07/28/04 - The US will agree to a new global free-trade deal "only if it provides more market access in agriculture, goods and services," according to US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
"We will not accept a deal to put the round back on track simply for the sake of a deal," the USTR said at the start of this week'../eWebPhotos/globaltrade1.jpeg" align=left vspace=15 border=0>Organization (WTO) meetings aimed at cobbling together a compromise agreement before tomorrow's deadline to get the stalled Doha Development Agenda (DDA) back on track.
The DDA were launched in Qatar in October 2001 to negotiate a progressive elimination of global tariffs and other trade barriers, but the talks fell apart during the September 2003 trade ministers' meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
"There must be substantial new openings for trade in agriculture, goods and services," said Zoellick, adding, "Our goal now is to get back to where we should have been at Cancun by developing the frameworks to reactivate the negotiations."
Zoellick also said the US "had offered to make substantial cuts in farm subsidies, but only if other countries also cut their subsidies and opened markets."
The US "will work with others to find solutions to problems and to develop creative ways to address the concerns of others. For example, we have worked to complement the European Union's offer to eliminate export subsidies by removing the subsidy element in our food export credit programs."
The Doha negotiations are scheduled to conclude by the end of this year.
Within the Doha negotiations, the US put forward a comprehensive agricultural trade reform proposal calling for elimination of export subsidies, cuts of $100 billion in annual allowed global trade-distorting domestic subsidies, and lowering average allowed global tariffs from 62% to 15%.
The US also proposed that WTO members agree in this negotiation to a specific date for the elimination of agricultural tariffs and trade-distorting domestic support and the voiding of all tariffs on consumer and industrial goods by 2015.
If adopted, Zoellick said, the proposals would cut tariffs on the over $6 trillion in annual world goods trade, "lifting the economic fortunes of workers, families, businesses, and consumers."
A recent University of Michigan study estimates that global free trade in goods and services would raise US annual income by $500 billion as a result of tariff-free trade - contributing to higher paying jobs. The same study found gains of up to $690 billion for both the European Union and the European Free Trade Area.
According to another report by the World Bank, developing countries would gain nearly two-thirds of the benefit from global free trade in goods including agriculture.
Their increase in annual income would amount to $539 billion, the report said, adding that that free trade "could help lift 300 million people out of poverty - a number greater than the entire population of the United States."
Since the beginning of the year, Zoellick has turned globetrotter in an effort to break the deadlock over the DDA, traveling more than 32,000 miles in February alone, and meeting with more than 40 trade officials to discuss how best to move the talks forward.
Most recently, the USTR met July 25 with the ministers of four West African nations - Benin, Burkino Faso, Chad, and Mali - concerned with issues surrounding the international trade in cotton.
The officials? were in the US on a working visit hosted by the Department of Agriculture and the National Cotton Council to meet with US farmers and members of the private sector to focus on cotton diversification and development efforts.
back, or read the latest Front Page stories:
US Seeks Stronger Ties With Brazil
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/13/06 – Rebounding from the failure to craft a Free Trade Area of the Americas pact, the Bush Administration is aiming at strengthening trade ties with Brazil in an effort to counter China’s fast-growing economic influence in Latin America; China should not only be seen as an export market with 1.3 billion consumers, but also as a nation of 1.3 billion ''new competitors,'' says US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guittierez.
US Threatens WTO Action Against China
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/10/06 – The White House is threatening to slap China with a World Trade Organization case unless Beijing responds quickly to US concerns over its lack of action on securing intellectual property rights for US products; talks on bringing the WTO case are at a ''very advanced stage,'' according to a high level official in the Office of the US trade Representative.
High Hopes for Central American Trade Pact
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/08/06 – The US -Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) still faces some hurdles, but could become a reality ''very soon,'' according to Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick; the issues relating to government procurement, intellectual property rights and agriculture still need to be worked through, says the former US Trade Representative following a session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.