Geneva, Switzerland – A U.S. business delegation led by the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and its member companies today arrived in Geneva to hold meetings with key World Trade Organization (WTO) officials. The visit is aimed at underscoring the U.S. business community's commitment to an ambitious conclusion to the Doha Round and the importance of the WTO in maintaining an open, rules-based trading system. The NFTC believes that a successful conclusion to the negotiations is critical to generating U.S. and global economic growth and to shoring up the central role of the WTO in the trading system.
"We are here in Geneva to express the U.S. business community's continued interest in an ambitious, successful, and hopefully rapid conclusion to the Round," said NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin. "After nine years of negotiations, we are here to encourage an increased level of urgency among negotiators."
While in Geneva, the group plans to meet with the following individuals, among others:
• Arancha González, Chief of Staff to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy;
• World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Francis Gurry;
• Ambassador John Gero, Chair of the General Council;
• Ambassador Eduardo Ernesto Sperisen-Yurt, Chair of the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation;
• Ambassador Fernando de Mateo, Chair of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services;
• Ambassador Luzius Wasescha, Chair of the Negotiating Group on Market Access;
• Ambassador David Walker, Chair of the Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture; and
• Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Chair of the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Environment.
"Concluding the Doha Round should be a priority on both the U.S. and global trade agenda," said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. "With the G-20 Summit in Seoul quickly approaching, the United States has an opportunity to use that occasion to voice strong support for and take a leadership role in advocating a successful conclusion to the negotiations."
The delegation, which includes representatives from a number of NFTC member companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Tyco International and Wal-Mart Stores, will be in Geneva until Thursday, October 28th. They will be accompanied by NFTC's Senior Advisor, Ambassador Stuart Harbinson, whose firm, Sidley Austin LLP, represents the group in Geneva.
###About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for Over 95 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.
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