New York, N.Y., July 30, 2008 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top multinational companies, expressed deep disappointment at the breakdown of the WTO’s Doha trade talks in Geneva. It called on governments to keep their offers on the table as the basis for further negotiations.
“We deeply regret that ministers failed to deliver an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive result acceptable to all parties,” stated USCIB President Peter M. Robinson. “So much has already been achieved, including important progress this past week. We urge parties to find ways to build on these accomplishments going forward.”
Mr. Robinson said leaders in emerging market countries needed to demonstrate flexibility commensurate with their new weight in the global economy. “In addition, established trading parties must continue to demonstrate collective leadership and willingness to compromise,” he stated. “We support the efforts of Ambassador Schwab and her team in this regard.”
The timing of the latest setback is unfortunate because of slowing economic growth and increasing protectionist sentiment in some major trading nations, Mr. Robinson added. He also pointed to the importance of freer trade and multilateral cooperation in confronting such challenges as climate change and resource scarcity.
USCIB believes the Doha Round has tremendous potential to increase global economic growth by improving market access for goods and services around the world, especially for the developing world by reducing south-south trade barriers. It is the main opportunity to reduce distorting subsidies and trade barriers to agriculture.
USCIB has long supported multilateral liberalization of trade, investment and financial flows. Together with its international affiliates, including the International Chamber of Commerce, and in partnership with other national industry groups in the ABCDoha coalition, USCIB strongly supported the launch of the Doha Round in 2001, and it has sought a result that would improve global market access for products and services.
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 American affiliate of three global business groups – the International Chamber of Commerce, 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.
Joseph G. Gavin, VP Trade & Customs, USCIB
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