Washington DC — On the first official day of the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today called on WTO Members to renew their commitment to an ambitious conclusion to the Doha Round by the end of 2006.
“WTO Members urgently need to demonstrate the political will necessary to achieve an ambitious conclusion to the Doha Round in 2006,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “We call on Trade Ministers to make serious progress during the ministerial meeting by setting the stage for the final phase of the negotiations and a commercially meaningful outcome to the trade talks.”
“WTO Members must seize the opportunity to boost global economic growth and alleviate poverty around the world by opening markets as much as possible and improving WTO rules as the chief outcome of the Doha Round. Toward that end, the European Union must act responsibly to open its agriculture market much further. Advanced developing countries need to open their markets too, especially for goods and services, for the Round to conclude successfully,” stated Reinsch.
“The clock is ticking on Doha. There is too much at stake for worldwide economic growth and the global trading system to allow the negotiations to end up with a mediocre result,” he continued.
“We congratulate the Office of the United States Trade Representative and Ambassador Portman for taking a strong leadership role in the negotiations. The NFTC stands ready to work with all Ministers to help achieve a successful outcome in Hong Kong,” Reinsch concluded.
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.