January 12,2004

Grassley on Trade Representative's Call for Re-energized WTO Talks


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Ambassador Zoellick’s call for re-energized WTO talks
Da: Monday, Jan. 12, 2004

Today Robert Zoellick, United States trade representative, called for re-energizing WorldTrade Organization talks this year. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance,made the following comment on this development.

“I appreciate any efforts to move the WTO talks forward, so Ambassador Zoellick’s proposals for WTO negotiations in 2004 are very welcome. Negotiations within the World Trade Organization are clearly where U.S. farmers and workers have the most to gain from trade negotiations. But WTO negotiations are complicated. If we want to complete these negotiations within the timeframe established by the Trade Act of 2002, we don’t have a lot of time to waste. Trade Promotion Authority must be renewed in 2005. Once renewed, it terminates in 2007. Ambassador Zoellick is right – we can’t afford to make 2004 a lost year. If we want to negotiate a solid agreement and get it passed by the U.S. Congress, we need to get these negotiations moving again. I hope all of our trading partners will seize the opportunity to engage in a realistic way at the negotiating table. If so, we can start making some real progress at the WTO that will benefit Iowa’s farmers, workers, and consumers.”