Business Community Leaders Find Hints of Momentum Building in Geneva to Conclude Global Trade Talks
– During a visit to Geneva last week, a U.S. business delegation led by the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) found some indications of momentum building to conclude the long-stalled Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations.
In meetings with key WTO officials and foreign delegations, NFTC and its member companies underscored the U.S. business community’s interest in an ambitious and swift conclusion to the Round.
“Our message was that the U.S. business community remains committed to concluding the Doha Round, but we need a deal that is commercially-meaningful to our companies,” said Scott Miller, Director, Global Trade Policy, Procter & Gamble, and Chair of NFTC's WTO Project. “We had some encouraging conversations, and now hope that the upcoming meetings of trade ministers and leaders at the G-20 and APEC can act as a catalyst.”
The delegation focused on the importance of expanding market access for key service industries, including information and communications technologies and logistics. They also emphasized the chemical, clean technology and healthcare industries.
“We suggested to negotiators that the cake isn’t baked yet in a couple of key areas, particularly services,” said Sarah Thorn, Senior Director, Federal Government Relations for Wal-Mart Stores. “There is real potential for the U.S. business community to get behind a meaningful agreement in areas such as logistics and information technologies.”
The delegation included representatives from a number of NFTC member companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Tyco International and Wal-Mart Stores. The group was accompanied by NFTC's Senior Advisor, Ambassador Stuart Harbinson, whose firm, Sidley Austin LLP, represents the association in Geneva.
“For the first time in a long time, we saw some genuine interest in jumpstarting global trade talks,” said NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin, who represented NFTC on the trip. “The challenge now is to turn enthusiasm into real progress in the negotiations.”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.
Follow us on: