December 14,2005

Senator Grassley’s Statement on the Status of Negotiations at the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong

Statement of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman of the Committee on Finance
WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong
Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Before we start today’s hearing, I want to comment on the WTO negotiations in HongKong. I’m disappointed that talks seem to be focusing on side issues such as the U.S. cottonprogram, duty-free quota free proposals, and aid packages. None of these proposals will lead tolong-term development which is what the Doha round fundamentally is about. We need to seevision and ambition in the round, not sideshows.

Let’s be clear, the United States is the country of ambition - we are prepared to dealwithin a comprehensive agreement with all of these issues and more. This is a lot more than Ican say about some of our trading partners who don’t seem interested in market liberalization atall. Instead they insist on perpetuating side-shows, drawing unconditional and unrealistic lines inthe sand, or simply sitting out negotiations all together. It’s time for our trading partners to getserious, step up to the plate, and show some leadership. Otherwise, the Doha round will remainstalled.