July 23,2008

Grassley: Clock is Ticking for Progress at Geneva Trade Talks


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: World Trade Organization talks in Geneva
Da: Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance of the U.S. Senate, madethe following response to remarks from Kamal Nath, India’s minister of commerce and industry, atthe World Trade Organization talks in Geneva.

“Minister Nath is right that it’s the collaborative responsibility of all members to achieve asuccessful outcome. That includes India. He said he wasn’t there to hand out ‘freebies’ withoutgetting something in return. Neither is the United States. I was disappointed to hear him say there’sbeen little progress in the area of domestic support for agriculture. The United States offered to gofrom its $48 billion in allowable domestic support down to $15 billion. If that’s not a dramatic offer,I don’t know what is. The United States is showing substantial leadership to move these negotiationsforward. Now we need to see a reciprocal demonstration of ambition on new market accesscommitments from our major trading partners, including advanced developing countries like India,Brazil, Argentina, and China. If that happens, we might just have a successful round. But if othercountries don’t match the U.S. level of ambition, this week’s ministerial will grind to a halt, and fast.After almost seven years of the Doha round, it would be a shame to waste this opportunity.”