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For Immediate Release
August 1, 2004

Secretary Veneman Statement on Wto Trade Accord

USDA Press Office August 1, 2004

Statement By Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman Regarding the World Trade Organization Trade Accord

Secretary Veneman: "I am very pleased that the negotiators in Geneva were able to reach agreement on a framework that will enable the Doha Round talks to proceed to a conclusion.

"Special congratulations are extended to Ambassador Robert Zoellick and our entire team of negotiators for their tireless efforts in bringing this result. President Bush has made expanding market opportunities for our farmers and ranchers a top priority throughout this administration.

"The development of this strong framework serves to re-energize the overall Doha Development Agenda negotiations that began in Doha, Qatar in 2001. Following the missed opportunity to achieve this agreement last fall in Cancun, Mexico, the United States assumed an even stronger leadership role in convincing other countries to negotiate seriously.

"Our negotiators worked tirelessly since the beginning of the year to bring all sides together and construct this agreement so as not to miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity. This framework provides a tremendous boost for concluding the multilateral trade negotiations that will further open markets and reduce the barriers for our farm products.

"This framework agreement indicates the commitment of the member countries to a fair and equitable global marketplace. It provides a basis for an important set of new global agricultural trade rules, building upon the significant advances achieved during the Uruguay Round.

"The framework identifies ambitious goals for the negotiations, including significant improvement in market access; substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support; and, in an historic move, the complete elimination of export subsidies. The agreement also outlines a number of principles to guide the next stage of the negotiations, such as greater harmonization in tariffs and subsidies across countries; the shape of export credit disciplines; and rules to determine the level and structure of trade-distorting domestic support programs.

"This Administration has pursued the most aggressive trade agenda in the history of our country. This agreement once again demonstrates our commitment to opening new markets and promoting global economic growth and development."


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