Representatives of the
134-member countries of the World Trade Organization will meet in Seattle, Washington for
the 1999 WTO Ministerial Conference Meeting, which will take place November 30th
through December 3rd, 1999. This meeting will chaired by United States Trade
Representative Charlene Barshefsky, and it will launch global negotiations to further open
markets in goods, services, and agricultural trade.
"This will be the largest
trade event ever held in the United States," said United States Trade Representative
Charlene Barshefsky, "and it will inaugurate global negotiations which will shape
world trade as we move to the next century. President Clinton has called for a new,
accelerated negotiating Round to include three different dimensions: global negotiations
to open markets in goods, services, and agriculture; a dynamic agenda that delivers
results on an on-going basis; and institutional reform to make the WTO more transparent,
accessible, and responsive to citizens."
over 40 U.S. cities expressed an interest in hosting the Ministerial meeting.Seattle,
Washington was selected by the Administration as the U.S. site to host the conference
among six finalist cities. Among the factors considered in making the selection were
capacity and ability to host, security arrangements, proximity of convention facility to
hotels, proximity to an international airport, local transportation, logistics, and offers
of assistance from the city, the state, and the private sector. The final selection was
based on the total package of considerations, rather than on any single criterion.