An Early Harvest on Trade That Could Boost Jobs and Growth

Former World Bank President and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick spoke at the event.
Former World Bank President and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick spoke at the event.

Washington, D.C., June 17, 2013 – As G8 leaders gather in Northern Ireland for their annual summit, expanding trade will be high on the agenda. To spur discussion of concrete steps that could be taken to revive global trade and investment, the Peterson Institute for International Economics joined with and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to hold a June 14 discussion in Washington, “Payoff from the World Trade Agenda.”

Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank and former U.S. trade representative, provided keynote remarks. Zoellick applauded the ICC initiative as “a great pathway” to expanded trade in a world where global output is now evenly split between developed and developing countries, and where significant South-South trade barriers still remain.

The event was held in partnership with the United States Business Council for International Business (USCIB), which serves as ICC’s American national committee, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Peterson Institute report, written by Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Jeffrey J. Schott, takes a fresh look at the Doha Round trade negotiations, and assesses the potential payoffs from seven agreements that could be revived and advanced in 2013 and entered into force as early as 2015. If all seven agreements were ratified, global gains could be substantial: export gains over $2 trillion, 34 million jobs supported, and global GDP gains of $2 trillion.

Incoming ICC Chairman Terry McGraw, CEO of McGraw-Hill Financial and also chairman of USCIB, said the report showed how important trade is to sustained global economic recovery. He said business leaders would strongly endorse the trade agenda with G20 leaders at this year’s summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and with WTO trade ministers in advance of their December ministerial in Bali, Indonesia.

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson cited the new report and recent OECD work on trade in value-added as underscoring the wisdom of securing multilateral solutions in a world of highly integrated, multi-country global value chains. He noted that imports now constitute some 40 percent of the value of exported goods globally, making import barriers in essence a tax on exports.

The Peterson report looks at potential trade, output and employment gains from the following elements in ICC’s World Trade Agenda:

  • concluding a WTO trade facilitation agreement
  • negotiating a new services plurilateral
  • expanding trade in information technology
  • implement duty-free and quota-free market access for exports from least-developed countries phasing out agricultural export subsidies
  • renouncing food export restrictions.

The report concludes that by simplifying customs procedures – through trade facilitation measures – alone, WTO member countries would deliver global job gains of 21 million, with developing countries gaining more than 18 million jobs and developed countries increasing their workforce by three million.

Providing a business perspective on the Peterson Institute report at the June 14 event were James Bacchus of Greenberg Traurig, a former Congressman and former chair of the WTO appellate body who now chairs ICC’s Trade and Investment Commission, Charles Johnston of Citi, chair of USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee, and Scott Miller of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. For video and audio from the June 14 event, go to http://www.iie.com/events/event_detail.cfm?EventID=287.

For more information on the ICC World Trade Agenda, please visit http://www.iccwbo.org/global-influence/world-trade-agenda/.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Acting Director of Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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