December 02,1999

Roth Addresses WTO Parliamentarians

SEATTLE -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today convened a group of World Trade Organization parliamentarians. Roth called this first-ever meeting of WTO parliamentarians to gauge interest and propose the creation of a forum for ongoing dialogue among elected legislators concerning matters before the WTO in the future.

Roth first raised this idea with United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky in September at Finance Committee hearings he held on preparations for the WTO Ministerial Conference. Ambassador Barshefsky agreed at the time that it would be helpful to engage members of Congress and legislators from other WTO countries as a means of encouraging greater openness and transparency at the WTO and strengthening the institution.

"My objective is to encourage a better informed group of leaders in legislatures among WTO members and facilitate discussion among those of us who are directly accountable to the voters in our countries," Roth stated.