USTR Praised for Attempts to Get Good WTO Agreement
WTO trade negotiations ended in Cancun without progress toward a framework for further talks, and the breakdown was widespread in that disagreements ranged from topics such as investment, transparency and government procurement to antitrust policy, trade facilitation and agricultural subsidies.
The breakdown was widespread in that disagreements ranged from topics such as investment, transparency and government procurement to antitrust policy, trade facilitation and agricultural subsidies.
National Cotton Council Chairman Robert W. Greene, a Courtland, AL, ginner, expressed his appreciation to Ambassador Robert Zoellick of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for his determination to ensure a good agreement.
"The National Cotton Council’s position has been that a bad agreement would bring substantial damage to the entire U.S. cotton industry," Greene said. "Ambassador Zoellick provided extraordinary leadership to the U.S. negotiating team. We are grateful that the USTR made bold initiatives in an effort to continue the talks and yet was unwilling to yield principles in order to get an agreement."
Greene said that the global cotton textile and apparel market is rampant with market distorting practices and suffers from huge increases in subsidized polyester production capacity across Asia. Focusing exclusively on raw cotton subsidies, he noted, would have failed to address most of the concerns of the cotton producing developing world.
NCC President and CEO Mark Lange said, "The U.S. cotton industry commends the efforts of the U.S. negotiating team, led by Ambassador Zoellick and including Ambassador Allen Johnson, USDA Secretary Ann Veneman and under Secretary J.B. Penn. Their skill and determination ensured that the meeting would not result in a bad deal for U.S. agriculture."