NFTC Urges WTO Members to Make the Multilateral Process Work
Washington, DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today expressed serious disappointment with the failure of the G-4 nations – the United States, the European Union, India and Brazil – to achieve a breakthrough in the Doha Round of WTO multilateral trade negotiations during meetings this week in Potsdam, Germany. In response to news that the G-4 talks have collapsed between trade and farm ministers, the NFTC released the following statement:
“The NFTC is very disappointed by the collapse in discussions by the G-4 countries aimed at achieving a breakthrough in the Doha Round on agriculture, goods and services. After an intensive several months of quiet discussions, we were hopeful that the G-4 countries would reach agreement to enable the negotiations to move to their final stage,” said Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President of Trade and Export Finance. “There is too much at stake in the multilateral trading system to allow these trade negotiations to fail or to go into a deep freeze. The developing countries stand to lose the most if the Doha Round fails.”
According to Irace, “We have been concerned about a lowering of ambition by major WTO members. To be successful, these talks must be concluded at a high level of ambition.”
“The NFTC and its members have long urged the United States and EU to open their agriculture markets and reduce subsidies, and over the past several months, they have moved in the right direction and progress has been made. This is not, however, a one-way negotiation focused only on agriculture. Goods and services, which account for the overwhelming majority of world trade, are core issues. For success, India and Brazil, as well as other leading developing countries, must be willing to open their markets for goods and services, including by agreeing to a meaningful tariff-cutting formula that will actually lead to new market access,” stated Irace.
Irace added, “The G-4 process has run its course. We look to the Chairmen of the key negotiating groups to issue texts and for the multilateral process to proceed forward in bringing the Doha Round to a timely and ambitious conclusion.”
NFTC President Bill Reinsch stated, “We appreciate the tireless efforts of U.S. negotiators to reach a resolution and remain hopeful that a successful conclusion to the Round is still in sight. We urge all parties to step up to the plate and get the job done. We also call on business groups in each of the G-4 countries and in other major economies to urge their trade ministers to put politics aside and achieve a substantial trade liberalization outcome that is in the clear economic interest of all WTO Members.”
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.