New York, N.Y., December 19, 2015 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed progress by World Trade Organization members on a number of issues at the WTO ministerial in Nairobi but expressed concerns about the lack of consensus on a post-Nairobi action plan.
The ministerial made progress on agriculture and in other areas, but WTO members remain divided over the path for addressing issues from the Doha Round and new issues of increasing concern to business. USCIB applauded positive developments for business that came out of the ministerial, including agreement on expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), eliminating tariffs on 201 IT products valued at over $1.3 trillion per year, as well as six additional ratifications for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
“The WTO should look to the future, focusing its resources and energy in pursuit of a practical agenda that addresses 21st-century trade challenges,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “USCIB reiterates its support of the multilateral trade agenda and encourages the WTO to continue its engagement on these and other issues of importance to business.”
USCIB strongly supports ratification and implementation of the TFA and is encouraged that 63 countries have now ratified the agreement, which is expected to reduce worldwide trade costs by some 17 percent by streamlining and modernizing customs procedures. In Nairobi, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), working with several other business groups and government agencies, launched a new partnership to support the effective implementation of TFA.
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 ICC, the International Organization of Employers, and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD – USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, firstname.lastname@example.org