The NFTC today urged Ministers in Hong Kong to stop tactical maneuvering and start real negotiations on fundamentals. The Doha Development Agenda offers a once in a generation opportunity to generate global growth for developed and developing countries through greater market access and strengthened rules.
“Ministers have spent the past four days on tactical maneuvering and one upmanship. It is time to get serious and focus on what is really important. Too much time has been wasted on posturing on matters that do not address the issues that will open the door to real progress in the talks,” stated NFTC President Bill Reinsch.
According to Reinsch, “Ministers need to address the fundamental issues to position this negotiation for a successful and ambitious conclusion in 2006. Agriculture remains the lynchpin. This requires squarely facing the problems of the treatment of sensitive products. It also means the EU must go further to open its market.”
He added, “On NAMA, we need to get serious and agree to a Swiss formula with dual coefficients which achieves meaningful new market access, together with other directly related issues that lead us in an ambitious direction. Key to such an outcome for NFTC is a commitment to a critical mass approach to achieve zero duties for a range of sectors.”
“On services, we adamantly oppose efforts to undermine the current draft text. The NFTC is disappointed by the lack of ambition in the current text and weakening it further is a recipe for failure, not success,” stated Reinsch.
“With only two days left to the ministerial, it is time for action. Ministers need to roll up their sleeves and get the job done,” concluded Reinsch.
The National Foreign Trade Council 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 350 member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.