United States Council for International Business

Business Trade Experts Work to Break Deadlock in Global Trade Talks

L-R: WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, ICC Honorary Chairman Victor K. Fung, USCIB Chairman (and ICC Vice Chair) Harold McGraw III, and ICC Chairman Gerard Worms.
L-R: WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, ICC Honorary
Chairman Victor K. Fung, USCIB Chairman (and ICC Vice Chair) Harold McGraw
III, and ICC Chairman Gerard Worms.

Business leaders and trade experts met in Geneva earlier this week for the first conference on the ICC Business World Trade Agenda, an initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), part of USCIB’s global network. The initiative aims to ensure that business works together with governments to
drive more effective trade talks.

More than 70 business experts, including CEOs, senior corporate executives and representatives of business organizations, together with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy, took part in the event. USCIB was represented by Chairman Harold McGraw III and Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan as well as a number of member executives.

Global business leaders involved in this initiative aimed to define multilateral trade negotiation priorities for business, and to help governments set a trade policy agenda for the 21st century that contributes to economic growth and job creation.

“It is crucial that governments work directly with the global business community to find answers to the current economic crisis,” said ICC Chairman Gerard Worms. “Opening trade and investment offers a stimulus to the global economy and would give business the clear sign that governments will not resort to protectionism.”

For the first time in 60 years, the multilateral trade negotiation process is at a standstill, and after 10 years, the Doha Development Agenda has reached a stalemate. Yet global trade remains a mainstay of the world economy and it is therefore crucial that global trade rules address the needs of the global marketplace.

“Business is especially troubled by the threat of increased protectionism from the world’s major economies. During this economic crisis, governments should be opening markets to stimulate their economies rather than putting up barriers to trade,” Victor K. Fung, chairman of the ICC Business World Trade Agenda initiative and honorary chairman of ICC said.

ICC launched in December 2011 the Business World Trade Agenda at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva, answering the call from G20 leaders at the recent Summit in Cannes for new approaches to trade negotiations. ICC is bolstered by the support it has received from the WTO in engaging business to provide recommendations to advance global trade negotiations.

Read more on ICC’s website.

Staff Contact: Rob Mulligan

More on USCIB’s Trade & Investment Committee

Staff Contact:   Rob Mulligan

Senior Counsel
Tel: 202.682.7375

Rob Mulligan oversees our wide ranging activities on international trade, investment, economic and regulatory matters, and supervises a staff of policy professionals whose expertise covers a host of issues affecting American companies engaged in global business. He also coordinates USCIB policy and advocacy work with the U.S. and foreign governments, our international affiliates.
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