September 10,2003

Grassley on the Progress of the Cancun Trade Talks


To: Reporters and editors
Re: Progress of the trade talks in Cancun
Da: Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2003

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, made the following commenton the progress of the trade talks in Cancun, Mexico, so far.

“The United States is at an important crossroads in our decades-long effort to open marketsand liberalize trade. During these negotiations, the United States is pursuing an ambitious agendaon an aggressive timetable. We seek broad market access for goods and services. This is especiallytrue for agriculture. The negotiations taking place in Cancun, Mexico, can set the stage for a new andprosperous world economy for our children and grandchildren. As Ambassador Zoellick has said,this is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

“Unfortunately, many nations, especially some in the developing world, are reluctant toembrace the future. Instead, they're resorting to the failed dialogue of the past, seeking to divide theworld into north and south, rich and poor. Such an approach only dooms these talks, and their ownopportunities for economic growth, to failure. While trade liberalization clearly benefits the UnitedStates, it provides even greater benefits to the developing world. Today, 70 percent of the world’stariffs are between developing nations. There’s certainly a lot of room for all nations to make broadmarket access commitments in this round.

“Let's be clear. In this round of negotiations there will be liberalization for all, or there willbe liberalization for none. The economic future of the world economy is a shared responsibility. Tosucceed, these negotiations require movement on all fronts, from all WTO members. The UnitedStates has proven its desire to lead, and we’ll continue to push for broad economic liberalization.We’ll do so because it benefits not only the United States, but all nations, rich and poor, north andsouth. While we’ll continue our commitment to market liberalization, we can’t, and won’t, do italone. ”