Business Groups Weigh in on Stalled Doha Round

Following meetings in Geneva last week on the WTO Doha Round negotiations, USCIB and several other major U.S. business groups issued a statement (below) expressing our concern with the current state of the negotiations, affirming our continued support for the round and the efforts by the U.S. negotiators, and stressing the need for a change in the substantive direction of the talks to bridge the gaps in services, agriculture and manufactured goods.

Staff contact: Rob Mulligan

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

Business Groups Joint Statement on the Status of the Doha Round

Washington, D.C., May 2, 2011 – The organizations listed below released the following statement today on the lack of progress in the Doha Round:

“We deeply regret that the WTO Doha Development Agenda trade round has not yet been able to achieve its intended objective of promoting world economic growth by expanding trade.

Since 2001, the United States and the U.S. manufacturing, services, and agriculture communities have been steadfast in their support for the Doha Round and of efforts by U.S. and other negotiators to try to break the negotiating deadlock by offering constructive alternatives in each negotiating area. We continue to seek an outcome that would open markets around the world, produce new trade flows, grow our economies and sustain and create jobs. But an agreement will not be possible unless all major economies make meaningful contributions.

A trade round is about opening markets and setting the rules for world trade for decades so it must address the reality that all major developed and advanced developing WTO Members that have benefitted from past rounds enormously have a responsibility to the world trading system to undertake significant market opening measures.  It is clear that this is not happening.

We believe that what is currently on the table in Geneva lacks balance and ambition.  According to the participants in the negotiations, the gaps in services, agriculture and manufactured goods appear to be unbridgeable under current circumstances. Real change in the substantive direction of the negotiations is the way the Round will produce meaningful results, an objective we continue to strongly support.

We continue to maintain strong confidence in the WTO as an institution, its system of rules, and its role as a bulwark for open trade and against protectionism as proven by the recent financial crisis. We encourage the United States and all WTO Members to devote their energy to finding a productive, trade-expanding direction for the Doha Round and the multilateral trading system. We remain ready to contribute our ideas to such an effort.”

American Farm Bureau Federation

Business Roundtable

Coalition of Service Industries

Emergency Committee for American Trade

National Association of Manufacturers

National Foreign Trade Council

United States Chamber of Commerce

United States Council for International Business

Staff Contact:   Alice Slayton Clark

Director, Investment, Trade and China
Tel: 202.682.0051

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