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Press/305
26 July 2002
DG Moore Welcomes Congressional Breakthrough on TPA

WTO Director General Mike Moore today warmly welcomed the breakthrough achieved by the U.S. Congress on legislation to grant President Bush the Trade Promotion Authority he needs to negotiate trade agreements.

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WTO Director General Mike Moore today warmly welcomed the breakthrough achieved by the U.S. Congress on legislation to grant President Bush the Trade Promotion Authority he needs to negotiate trade agreements.

Mr. Moore said the agreement among Congressional leaders, which could lead to passage of the bill by next week, and the well-received U.S. proposal on reducing farm subsidies and tariffs, have given further momentum to the Doha Development Agenda negotiations and kept those talks on course for completion by the 1 January 2005 deadline.

“I congratulate President Bush and U.S. Trade Representative Bob Zoellick as well as the leaders in Congress on this important breakthrough. U.S. leadership is vital to the Doha Development Agenda and passage of this bill in the coming days will lift confidence among the 144 WTO Member Governments that we can finish these talks on time,” Mr. Moore said.

Mr. Moore pointed out that many of the issues being negotiated in the Doha talks have been under discussion and analysis for five years establishing a solid foundation for the current work which should enable governments to conclude their work on schedule.

“This is not a three-year negotiation. We’ve actually been negotiating for five years already so there should be no reason to miss the deadline, particularly given the good work we have done since our Doha Ministerial Meeting last November. Since the Doha meeting governments have approved; the structure and timetable for our negotiations, the selection of Cancun, Mexico as the next Ministerial Conference site and a significant increase in funding for technical assistance and capacity building. The progress on TPA and the solid US farm proposal to be tabled here in Geneva next week build on that work. All of this puts us in very good position to wrap these talks up on time,” Mr. Moore said.