Commerce Secretary Gutierrez on Doha

By October 11, 2007Trade

Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez is in the right place this week to engage U.S. critics on the Doha Round of WTO talks. His remarks in Sao Paolo yesterday were right on:

These negotiations are at a critical juncture. The stakes could not be higher, especially for Brazil, which has much to gain from an ambitious Doha agreement that creates new global market opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing and services.

Unless major developed and developing countries indicate now, publicly, their willingness to negotiate on the basis of texts that are on the table in Geneva we face losing a potential deal. And again, this is too big, it’s too important, and it’s right within our grasp.

The U.S. has stated that we will negotiate on the basis of the texts, including on the key issue for Brazil of U.S. domestic agricultural support. So, it’s time now for Brazil to make the same commitment and to use its significant influence – the influence that Brazil has around the world – countries look to Brazil for leadership, especially the group of developing countries. Brazil can persuade other advanced developing countries to do the same.

A successful Doha agreement is the single biggest opportunity we have to drive worldwide growth and to lift millions of people out of poverty. It would be a shame to let it slip away.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said today that Doha remains salvageable, despite the resistance to the existing negotiation texts.

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