Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative
IDFA joined a coalition of 40 agriculture groups and companies last week in commending Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative, for defending U.S. interests and the integrity of the World Trade Organization against attempts by India to reopen agreements reached at the WTO ministerial last December in Bali.
In a joint letter, the coalition said, “India’s attempt to hold the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) hostage to gain concessions in agriculture beyond those it secured as part of the overall Bali package in order to maintain their flawed policy has been a brazen effort to force other WTO member nations to pay twice to gain India’s endorsement of TFA.”
According to the coalition, TFA will reduce the cost of trade by streamlining and harmonizing customs rules and procedures to the benefit of all countries, especially developing nations. TFA is also the first multilateral agreement reached since the establishment of the WTO and serves as proof that the multilateral negotiating system can still work and can bring benefits to hundreds of nations at a time.
“We commend you for providing the leadership in Geneva necessary to avoid one country from undermining years of effort in the WTO in both facilitating trade and disciplining trade distorting subsidy programs and urge that you continue this strong stance,” the letter concluded.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, director of international affairs for IDFA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.