New York, N.Y., June 24, 2008 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined over 100 U.S. companies and business associations in signing a letter to WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and WTO trade ministers that reiterated their strong support for conclusion of an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive Doha Round agreement this year.
The letter, organized by the American Business Coalition for Doha (ABCDoha), expressed concern that the current negotiation texts on agriculture, industrial market access (NAMA) and services would not provide the level of liberalization that is needed to create meaningful new trade flows and ensure U.S. business support. It urged WTO members to move forward aggressively on all three of these major Doha Round pillars at the same time to improve the texts and achieve the contribution to economic growth and development that these negotiations offer.
The ABCDoha letter closely followed last week’s ICC World Business Summit in Stockholm, hosted by Marcus Wallenberg, outgoing chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, where 350 top business executives from some 70 countries issued a strong message to governments underscoring the tremendous costs should the Doha Round collapse.
“In Stockholm, Director General Lamy told us that there is still a real possibility of success, but it is clearly now or never,” said USCIB President Peter M. Robinson. “Governments do not have much time to reach agreement on new market access in all three pillars to make this round a success. They also need to remember the big picture, weighing not only the Doha Round’s original focus on development but also its indispensable potential value in addressing current challenges facing society, such as climate change and the food crisis.”
Mr. Robinson emphasized that USCIB supported the strong statements by Mr. Wallenberg and incoming ICC Chairman Victor Fung. “With our American business partners, we are committed to working with Director General Lamy and our trading partners to achieve an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive result this year,” he said.
USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment. Its membership includes more than 300 leading U.S. companies, professional services firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $4 trillion. As the American affiliate of several leading global business groups, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade. More at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, VP Communications, USCIB
+1 212-703-5043 (office), +1 917-420-0039 (mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org
G8 Urged to Push for Doha Round Agreement (June 17, 2008)
Business leaders increase pressure on governments for Doha deal (ICC website, June 13, 2008)