June 20, 2000
H.J.Res. 90 - Withdrawing Support for the WTO Agreement
(Paul (R) TX and 9 cosponsors) <BR>
The Administration strongly opposes H.J.Res. 90, which would withdraw
Congressional approval of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade
Organization (WTO), and urges the Congress to defeat this resolution. By
opening foreign markets to U.S. goods and services and promoting U.S.
values around the world, the WTO is vital to America's interests. The
United States must continue to participate and lead in the WTO.
Though its origins date back more than fifty years, the WTO continues to be
a critical forum for the United States to: (1) assert and advance U.S.
interests in the global economy; (2) lower trade barriers and promote new
opportunities for American workers, firms, and farmers; (3) advance the
rule of law; and (4) promote economic stability and peace by giving nations
stronger stakes in one another's prosperity and stability.
The United States is the world's largest trading nation and the leader of
the global economy. U.S. participation in the WTO and its predecessor, the
GATT, has contributed to the expansion of U.S. exports, which have risen by
almost $260 billion since 1994. The Uruguay Round, which established the
WTO, cut tariffs worldwide by over one-third and expanded trade disciplines
for the first time to agriculture, services, and intellectual property
rights. Subsequently, the WTO concluded landmark agreements in information
technology products, financial services, and basic telecommunications,
which provide new opportunities for U.S. goods and services.
If the United States did not participate in the WTO, we would: (1) expose
ourselves to discrimination by virtually all other major trading nations;
(2) weaken our ability to get other countries to abide by trade
commitments; (3) threaten U.S. competitiveness and living standards; and
(4) create uncertainty and risk in the U.S. and world economy. U.S.
participation and leadership in the WTO is critical at this time. There
are more than 30 nations, including some economies in transition, seeking
to join the WTO, as well as a number of developing countries that are
working to meet their WTO obligations. Withdrawal of Congressional support
for the multilateral system would send precisely the wrong message to these
U.S. participation in the WTO has been highly beneficial to the United
States and the Administration will continue to work to improve the WTO and
respond to constructive criticism. The United States has been a leader in
urging the WTO to be more open and accessible to the public and in ensuring
that it promotes environmental protection and supports U.S. efforts to
improve respect for internationally recognized core labor standards.