The Doha Round Continues Through Cancun
The Cancun Ministerial will provide an important
step in bringing the Doha Round negotiations to a successful conclusion. The Doha Round is
the most important
round of WTO negotiations since the Uruguay Round of the 1980s and 1990s. It
is a once in a generation opportunity to change the rules that govern
international agricultural trade in ways that can benefit consumers and
producers in the developed and developing world.
The Doha Round has also been called the
"development round" because one of its stated goals is to improve the
lives of the billions of people living in the developing world by extending the
benefits free trade into their countries. The United States recognizes that an
international trading system that does not take into account the developing
world is doomed to failure. The United States believes that increased market
access for agricultural goods, combined with significant reductions in domestic
support will provide a real impetus for economic growth in the developing
The Uruguay Round: Laying the
Round seeks to build on the success of the Uruguay Round. The
Uruguay Round was unique and successful where seven previous rounds failed
because of the framework that was developed.
All countries had to be willing to put all policies for all agricultural
products on the table. The
result was the now well-known three pillars approach.
By requiring countries to undertake commitments on market access, export
subsidies, and domestic support, the Uruguay Round Agreement established a new
framework for agricultural trade liberalization.
The first round of cuts – 36 percent for market access, 36 percent by
value and 21 percent by volume for export subsidies, and 20 percent for domestic
support – was less ambitious than many had hoped, but it was a start and
Article 20 of the Agreement committed countries to continue the reform process
through future negotiations.
the 2001 round of negotiations in Doha, Qatar, WTO members agreed to begin talks
to lower tariffs and other barriers to free and fair agricultural trade.
United States believes this is a historic opportunity to not only help its
farmers, ranchers and growers export more, but to improve the lives of producers
and consumers in the developing world and around the globe.