Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today applauded the agreement reached on Saudi Arabia’s terms of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
With a gross domestic product of $310 billion in 2004, Saudi Arabia possesses one of the largest market economies still outside the WTO. Accession to the WTO will promote non-discriminatory market-based economic reform in Saudi Arabia and further open the Saudi market to U.S. exports of goods, services and agriculture.
“We fully support the accession agreement and look forward to Saudi Arabia becoming a member of the WTO,” said Bill Reinsch, NFTC President.
“We commend our respective governments for reaching this major agreement. It will strengthen our bilateral economic relationship and create growth and opportunity for business in both the United States and Saudi Arabia,” stated Lisa Barry, Vice President and General Manager, Government Affairs, of Chevron.
“Saudi Arabia’s prospective accession to the WTO is a very positive and important development. It will further integrate Saudi Arabia into the world trading system, create significant new opportunities for trade and commercial activity, and advance the transparent rule of law in the Saudi trade regime,” said R. Michael Gadbaw, Vice President for International Law and Policy of General Electric Company.
“This is a high quality accession agreement that achieves major market opening commitments by Saudi Arabia. For example, the U.S. financial services sector is expected to see significant benefits, including direct branching. Tariffs on goods and agriculture will be bound at low levels – an average of 3.2% for the majority of U.S. goods exports. Moreover, over 90% of U.S. agricultural exports will be bound at15% or lower. Importantly, Saudi Arabia will implement all WTO rules without any transitional periods, including TRIPS. These are just a few examples of the many benefits under the agreement,” stated Reinsch.
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.