Calls for Renewed Leadership to Get the Job Done
Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today called upon WTO Members to redouble their efforts to assure the Doha Development Agenda negotiations stay on track in line with the 2005 deadline.
“Today’s missed deadline on agriculture underscores the need for renewed leadership among all WTO Members to achieve the critical shared goal of a successful conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). With the Cancun Ministerial Conference just five months away, it is vital that WTO Members not lose sight of what is ultimately at stake in this negotiation – expanding growth and opportunity for developing and developed economies alike,” according to Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President for Trade and Export Finance and Co-Chair of the NFTC Doha Round Working Group.
Irace commented that although the missed deadline on agriculture was disappointing, it was not fatal to the negotiations. “While the missed deadline on agriculture is a serious concern because it is a lynchpin issue in the overall negotiation and a number one priority for the United States and a majority of developing countries, it is important to recognize that progress has been achieved to date across a range of issues since the negotiations were launched,” stated Irace. She further added that “our focus should be on how best to ensure continued forward progress in the lead up to the Cancun Ministerial, not a missed deadline or two.”
The NFTC believes the real challenge before the WTO and WTO Members is to set aside tactical considerations and establish a high level of ambition across all areas of the negotiation to ensure the multilateral trading system stays relevant and vibrant in an era of proliferating regional agreements.
“A thriving open and rules based global trading regime has the potential to create the greatest benefit for the largest number of people. There is an enormous opportunity before us if WTO Members are willing to exert the political leadership necessary to seize it. With the global economy in a slow growth state, combined with great geopolitical uncertainty, such leadership has never been more important,” according to Irace.
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 several hundred member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.