Trade Groups Urge Aggressive Movement in Doha Round

Trade Groups Urge Aggressive Movement in Doha Round

Three U.S. business groups are urging the U.S. and European Union to “move forward aggressively” to get the stalled Doha Round negotiations moving again.

In a letter Wednesday to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and EU Trade commissioner Karel De Gucht, the National Association of Manufacturers, Business Roundtable, and Coalition of Service Industries suggested that negotiations focus on trade in non-agricultural goods and services. They also said it was important to move ahead with agricultural trade, which has been a major impediment to progress.

The groups also urged more participation by large emerging nations, like China, India and Brazil.

“Concluding the Doha Round will require a higher level of political engagement,” the groups said. “We look forward to working closely with both of you to ensure the Doha Round expands global trade and development, which will bring growth and development to all WTO economies.”

According to Frank Vargo, NAM vice president for international economics affairs, the Doha Round started in 2001, but discussion of manufactured goods didn’t start until 2008.

“It became quickly apparent the advanced developing countries did not want to open their markets,” Vargo said. “The NAM has always pointed out this is a trade negotiation, not a donors’ conference.”

-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.