Cancun Ministerial Must Result in Substantial Forward Progress in Doha Talks
Washington, DC – In a statement released today, the NFTC expressed its concern over the level of progress in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations in the lead up to the upcoming WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun this September.
“With the Cancun Ministerial six weeks away, the NFTC is concerned over the lack of progress necessary to keep the Doha Agenda on track toward a successful conclusion by 2005. Next week’s mini-ministerial meeting in Montreal must give clear direction to guide final preparations for Cancun,” according to Mary Irace, NFTC Vice President for Trade and Export Finance.
“Since the launch of the Doha Agenda, the NFTC and its members have proactively encouraged a high level of ambitious multilateral trade liberalization as the most important objective for this latest round of WTO negotiations. For much of the U.S. business community, the challenge is to seize the unprecedented opportunity before WTO Members to achieve bold outcomes and lead the global economy in a direction of renewed growth and economic promise. The opportunity and widespread benefits are there, if the political will exists,” stated Irace.
“The Doha Round is a win-win proposition if it leads to practical and meaningful results in terms of openness and improved rules to govern trade, and both developing and developed countries stand to benefit,” Irace continued. “We hope WTO Members will avoid outdated mercantilist approaches and demonstrate the ability of the WTO to keep pace with the proliferation of regional agreements through ambitious outcomes within the stated deadline of 2005. The global economy is crying out for such leadership”
Irace added that the “NFTC has been a longstanding proponent of a strong multilateral trading system, but considers that the WTO and the multilateral trading system are at a turning point. The Doha negotiations will determine for many U.S. businesses whether the WTO will remain relevant and credible to the realities of the global marketplace. We sincerely hope that WTO Members will seize the day.”
In May 2002, the NFTC issued a comprehensive position paper on the Doha Round, calling for the gradual elimination of tariffs for non-agricultural products and elimination of non-tariff barriers, along with major liberalization of agriculture and services, among other recommendations. More recently, it co-signed a joint letter with its European counterparts on a six-point agenda for the WTO negotiations, urging U.S. and European leadership on the Doha Agenda.