U.S. Chamber Laments Impasse on Trade Facilitation Pact

Friday, August 1, 2014 - 8:45am

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for International Policy John Murphy issued the following statement today regarding the impasse over the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement:

“A small number of WTO members managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory today. It’s baffling that anyone would stand in the way of the Trade Facilitation Agreement unanimously endorsed at the Bali Ministerial last December. This agreement would promote economic growth and raise living standards around the world, with most gains going to the world’s poorest.

“However, backtracking by India and a small number of other countries prevented the WTO from formally adopting the protocol to implement the agreement by today’s deadline. The vast majority of WTO members are stunned that the consensus reached in Bali has been overturned. Concessions India won in Bali relating to its soaring agricultural subsidies could also be in abeyance.

“Already many governments are considering how to secure the Trade Facilitation Agreement’s cost-cutting, anti-corruption benefits for the vast majority of WTO members that support its swift implementation. The U.S. Chamber will continue to seek a path forward for this vital pact and for negotiations relating to services, technology products, and environmental goods now underway among those who see trade as an engine of growth and job creation.

“On trade, when you stand still, you fall behind. Those who’ve overturned the Bali consensus risk marginalizing themselves from the opportunities presented by world trade. We hope more circumspect views prevail in the days ahead.”