Release Date: Jun 21, 2000Contact: 888-249-NEWS
WTO Membership Protects Thriving U.S. Economy
WASHINGTON, DC—The United States Chamber of Commerce today called the House defeat of H.J. Res. 90, a resolution to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization, "a victory for U.S. businesses, farmers and workers that continue to benefit from expanded free trade."
Chamber Executive Vice President Bruce Josten, in a letter to Congress before the vote, said, "Trade gains won through WTO agreements have been a major contributor to the thriving U.S. economy. U.S. membership in the WTO ensures that our foreign trading partners open their markets to U.S. businesses and abide by fair trading practices."
WTO rules prevent foreign countries from blocking U.S. exports through higher tariffs, according to the Chamber. Since the creation of the WTO, U.S. exports have risen by more than $250 billion, creating new jobs and business opportunities. In addition, current economic data show that existing WTO agreements will boost the U.S. gross domestic product by at least $27 billion per year.
"The United States led the effort to establish the WTO for this reason: it allows American businesses, farmers and workers to find new opportunities, create new jobs and raise living standards," Josten said.
"A U.S. withdrawal from the WTO would lead to higher tariffs against U.S. exports, block U.S. access to the WTO dispute settlement processes, and eliminate U.S. leverage in setting the agenda for future trade and investment talks with foreign nations," Josten concluded.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.
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