January 12,2000

Parliamentarians Approve Roth Resolution on Trade

Canberra, Australia -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today announced the successful passage of a resolution he put forward on trade at the Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF). The resolution, adopted unanimously by legislators representing 25 countries of the Asia Pacific region, calls upon WTO members to put the failed Seattle Ministerial behind them and move swiftly to launch a new round of trade liberalization negotiations.

"I'm very pleased that representatives of the parliaments of 25 Asia Pacific countries have endorsed this important resolution," Roth stated. "The failure to reach agreement in Seattle cost us vital momentum necessary to continue the job of liberalizing global trade. After all, in 1998 international trade accounted for 25% of America's economic growth. The increased competition and lower prices that have come from trade have played a substantial role in the U.S. economy's creation of jobs and wealth over the past 18 years.

"Significantly, the countries endorsing this resolution not only represent roughly half the world's population, but an even larger share of the world's trade flow. I can think of no more appropriate step in moving us forward toward a new trade round than passage of this resolution."