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NFTC Urges WTO Members to Agree on Modalities this Fall: Exceptions to the General Approaches Must be Strictly Limited
Date: 10/19/2007
Written By: Eric Thomas or Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491

Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today called on WTO member governments to move urgently to narrow differences and bring the Doha Round of negotiations to a prompt and ambitious conclusion. A group of 10 member companies from the NFTC just completed 3 days of meetings in Geneva with senior officials including Director-General Lamy, negotiating group chairs, ambassadors and other senior negotiators. The group was led by the co-chairs of the NFTC's WTO project group, Mary Irace, NFTC's Vice President, and Scott Miller, Procter & Gamble's Director for global trade policy.

 

"The NFTC urges WTO members to reach agreement this fall on modalities to reduce distortions and liberalize trade in agricultural and industrial products, as well as to provide direction for achieving substantial results in services, trade facilitation, and on improvements to trade rules," said Irace.

 


Miller noted, "We have concluded from our meetings this week that WTO members have reached a critical moment of decision and opportunity." We are impressed
with the intensity of the negotiating effort in all sectors, particularly in agriculture. "However, if real progress is not achieved in the coming weeks, the opportunity may slip away, with grave risks to the prospects for concluding the Round," added Irace.

 


The central issue for decision continues to be ensuring a meaningful level of ambition. In the core areas of NAMA and agriculture, efforts are clearly centered on the Chairs' texts. "The Chairs' texts provide the basis to conclude a valuable deal for NFTC Members. However, we are worried by a growing tendency, among both developed an developing countries, to look for ways to avoid the full liberalizing effect of the general formulas on their own policies. These temptations must be resisted if the outcome is to be an agreement that will generate new trade flows," concluded Irace.

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Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years

The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.