July 24,2006

Baucus Disappointed by Failure of Doha Negotiations

Senator Praises Ambassador Schwab for Standing Up for U.S. Farmers and Ranchers

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement upon news of the failure to reach agreement on agriculture in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization ("WTO") talks:

“It is unfortunate that negotiators were unable to bridge differences in the Doha talks. These negotiations had great potential to open new markets for Montana's and America's farmers and ranchers, as well as for our exporters of industrial goods and services.

“But, as I have long said, no Doha deal is better than a bad Doha deal. It has become increasingly apparent that our trading partners – especially the European Union and certain advanced developing countries – are unwilling to offer meaningful access to their markets, especially for U.S. agricultural exports. Instead, these countries appear to believe that negotiations are one-way, expecting the United States to unilaterally disarm even as they seek to shelter their own markets from serious trade commitments. That is unacceptable.

“Ambassador Schwab was right to hold firm and accept nothing less than real concessions. I commend her for her resolve.

“Now that the clock has run out on Doha, it is time for the United States to turn its attention to trading partners and trade agreements from which we can derive results. Between now and the expiration of Trade Promotion Authority next year, we should focus on deliverables we can achieve – like granting Vietnam Permanent Normal Trade Relations status, completing free trade agreement negotiations with Korea and Malaysia, and deepening our trade links with willing partners in East and Southeast Asia.”

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