Additional working documents dealing with market access were released to agricultural negotiators involved in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization trade talks earlier this month. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab wants greater access for U.S. agricultural goods in the global trade talks. She says the key to achieving that is to persuade developing countries that two-way trade benefits them.
Some argue that developing countries are better off participating in one-way trade preference programs rather than engaging fully in the global economy, however Schwab says studies show that developing countries are better off lowering barriers than taking a protectionist stance.
"Increasing sub-Saharan Africa's share of global trade by just 1% to 3% would boost incomes in Africa by $80 billion," Schwab says. "That surpasses by at least three-fold the amount that the region receives from donor countries and official development assistance."
Schwab says if countries are willing to negotiate based on the revised texts, it is possible the Doha Round could be completed in the first quarter of 2008. She will discuss the talks this week with other officials in Davos, Switzerland at the annual World Economic Forum.