Dear Ambassador Tai:
We welcome your recent remarks affirming the United States’ commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the positive results of the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). We agree that the WTO can deliver on the promise of the Marrakesh Agreement by supporting market-based principles, promoting inclusive growth, and addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow.
The US and global economy, as well as the livelihoods of workers around the world, depend on an effective WTO. A level playing field on the multilateral level helps American manufacturers, service providers, innovators and farmers – large and small – by enabling workers and communities to compete more fairly in markets around the world. Since 1948, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the WTO, world trade has grown 40-fold in real terms to more than $ 25 trillion today. More than 30 percent of U.S. GDP today comes from commerce, and more than 40 million U.S. jobs – 1 in 5 – depend on commerce, and commerce cuts costs for American families.
A successful MC12 will require urgent U.S. leadership to secure concrete deliverables that advance U.S. interests and competitiveness in areas such as fisheries, national regulations, agriculture, e-commerce, trade facilitation, and the response to the pandemic. Such results will demonstrate that the WTO can deliver significant results and can lay the groundwork for future reforms and commitments. However, outcomes that weaken WTO rules, for example by undermining long-standing disciplines on subsidies, electronic transmissions or intellectual property, would instead weaken core WTO principles and commitments as well as support for it. the institution.
Building on MC12, the WTO needs reform to meet today’s demands by modernizing its agreements and ensuring members respect existing rules and commitments. We support the advancement of a comprehensive WTO reform program that addresses dispute settlement, special and differential treatment, distorting non-market industrial subsidies, and state-owned enterprises. Reforms should also cover emerging services and technologies, enhance inclusiveness and help harness trade to tackle climate change. A modern WTO should broaden plurilateral pathways to trade liberalization, update institutional rules and procedures, improve monitoring, promote greater transparency through notifications, and involve more stakeholders.
WTO dispute settlement keeps parties in their commitments. Reform of the WTO dispute settlement system will require the United States to come up with concrete and detailed proposals that address long-standing concerns about excessive proceedings and appellate bodies in order for the system to resolve disputes effectively and efficiently. The United States has successfully used WTO dispute settlement to challenge WTO violations without resorting to unilateral action that leads to retaliation and escalation from start to finish. Reform and restoration of the system will support American interests and may compel WTO members to honor their commitments.
The Administration can better support the rules-based international system and the WTO by making concrete proposals and partnering with allies who share principles of market-based liberalization, modernization and trade reform. In addition, scheduling more frequent trade ministers’ meetings could help overcome deadlocks, support reforms and foster progress. We will continue to work with you and your team to advance our common goals for the WTO. US businesses, workers and families will all benefit when the WTO does what it was created to do.
American Board of Chemistry
American Federation of Agricultural Offices
American P&C Insurance Association
Enterprise Software Alliance
Coalition for Service Industries
National Council for Foreign Trade
American Chamber of Commerce
American Council for International Trade