Washington DC – As a long time advocate for open, rules-based trade, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) welcomes the decision of the Ministerial Conference at Doha to launch a new round of trade negotiations.
“As economic growth begins to slow world wide, this decision is an affirmation of the importance of trade as an instrument of global economic growth and prosperity,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the NFTC.
“A new round opens up the potential for gains in open, rules-based trade through negotiations on increasing market access through reductions in tariffs and non-tariff barriers, on services, and on agriculture by phasing down and hopefully ending subsidies,” said Reinsch. “It also holds out the promise of further integrating developing countries into the global trading system in ways that will increase their growth and income.”
The NFTC issued its own zero tariff proposal earlier this year and will be working hard to advance it as the negotiations take shape.
The NFTC also welcomes the opportunity the negotiations will present to strengthen and clarify trade rules. In particular, the NFTC hopes negotiators will focus on making sure the WTO’s rules on taxation do not disadvantage U.S.-based companies.
With respect to intellectual property, the NFTC is pleased that the declaration recognizes the importance of intellectual property protection and maintains Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement rights and obligations.
“We congratulate U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and his team on the successful conclusion of this very difficult process,” said Reinsch. “The next phase – the actual negotiating – is even more important to open trade, and we will be working hard to make sure it fulfills its promise.“
Contact: Eric Thomas