World Trade Back on Track – USCIB applauds breakthrough on implementation of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

President Obama with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House in September (White House photo)
President Obama with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House in September (White House photo)

New York, N.Y., November 13, 2014 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) hailed today’s announcement by the United States and India of a breakthrough to end the impasse over implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

“This is very welcome news and paves the way to bring the landmark TFA deal into effect,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “It will provide a big boost to the U.S. and global economies at a critical time. Coupled with the announcement this week of an agreement with China to move forward on expanding the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement, this demonstrates the continued importance of multilateral trade liberalization in the 21st-century global economy.”

Robinson added: “We especially commend U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and his team for their extraordinary, tireless efforts to find a solution to this frustrating deadlock. This agreement shows again the unique power of American leadership to find creative solutions to some of the toughest problems facing the world today.”

USCIB has pushed hard for resolution of the impasse, which arose in July when India blocked implementation of the TFA in a dispute over its food security measures. It has also worked closely with the International Chamber of Commerce, the world business organization for which USCIB serves as the American national committee, to get the TFA back on track.

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich added: “Coming on the eve of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, this breakthrough is not only welcome but extremely timely, laying the foundation for G20 leaders to forge ahead with a robust agenda for global growth and job creation.”

USCIB will honor WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo at its International Leadership Award Dinner on November 19 in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Froman is scheduled to address the dinner.

Under the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which was concluded at last December’s WTO ministerial in Bali, Indonesia. WTO members commit to remove administrative and customs-related barriers to trade, in order to speed shipment of goods across borders. Once implemented, the TFA is expected to spur global economic growth and create some 21 million new jobs – 18 million in developing countries – while adding $1 trillion to global GDP.

Robinson said the business community was committed to helping developing countries implement the TFA. USCIB and ICC plan to hold a joint symposium on customs and trade facilitation this February in Miami.

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.

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

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

More on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and 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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