The FINANCIAL — U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy that he has decided against calling ministers to Geneva this month to seek a breakthrough in the WTO's seven-year-old Doha Round negotiations.
“It is unfortunate for the world’s workers, farmers, businesses and most importantly the poor that an agreement on the Doha Round cannot be reached before the end of the year. However, I respect Director-General Pascal Lamy’s efforts over recent weeks to use the political momentum provided by world leaders for a final push towards an agreement. Ambassador Susan Schwab and her entire team should be commended for their tireless work on Doha and the rest of the trade agenda.
“At this time of enormous global economic challenges, we must not give in to the temptation to raise isolationist barriers. Doha offers the hope of a much needed shot in the arm for the global economy. President-elect Barack Obama and other world leaders must make Doha a top priority in 2009.
“The U.S. Chamber will continue to push for an ambitious, balanced, and comprehensive agreement. The United States must recommit itself to achieving an outcome to Doha for the benefit of Americans and people around the world.”