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USTR chief steps up calls to reinvigorate global trade talks in 2004

USTR chief steps up calls to reinvigorate global trade talks in 2004

   U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick asked the members of the World Trade Organization to re-start global trade liberalization talks this year.

   In Cancun, Mexico last September, WTO talks broke down mostly over the liberalization in agricultural trade. Zoellick said in a letter to 140 WTO trade ministers that the United States “does not want 2004 to be a lost year” for trade talks.

   The Bush administration still urges countries to eliminate agricultural export subsidies, in addition to cuts in domestic farm supports. The administration wants countries, both industrialized and developing, to open their markets to U.S. farm products.

   The administration also encourages a tariff-cutting formula and zero-tariff initiatives for some manufacturing sectors.

   WTO negotiations are expected to continue in mid-2004 and the organization’s trade ministers will meet in Hong Kong before the end of the year.

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