World Trade Organization 9th Ministerial Conference
Decemer 3-6, 2013
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.
The World Trade Organization is an organization for trade opening. It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements. It is a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.
Office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR)’s WTO & Multilateral Affairs (WAMA) office has overall responsibility for trade negotiations and policy coordination regarding matters before the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the Doha Development Agenda negotiations.
Specific responsibilities include the operation of various WTO committees, including those established for subject areas such as subsidies, anti-dumping and other trade remedies, import licensing procedures, standards and technical barriers to trade, government procurement, customs/trade facilitation & security matters, WTO Accessions, WTO Trade Policy Reviews, and preferential trade arrangements.
WAMA staff is also often responsible for these issues where they are specifically addressed in individual FTAs. The office has the lead with regard to WTO accessions, and is also responsible for trade policy coordination and negotiations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
“As a Nation, we need to do everything we can to create good, middle-class jobs right here in America. And one of the best ways we can do that is by boosting manufacturing and expanding trade that allows us to sell more of our goods and services all around the world. We have made important progress toward meeting that goal under our National Export Initiative, and we are taking historic steps to help our businesses access new markets abroad. But we cannot stop there. We need to keep making the investments in commerce and infrastructure that drive our economic growth and bring more Americans into a thriving middle class.
We can start by modernizing our roads, bridges, and ports. These upgrades would allow American companies to ship their goods faster and cheaper, and they would encourage businesses worldwide to set up shop here and bring more jobs to our shores. So earlier this year, I proposed the Partnership to Rebuild America — a collaboration between the private and public sectors to break ground on our most pressing infrastructure projects.
In the past 4 years, we have focused on opening up growing markets for our businesses through historic trade agreements and enforcing trade rights so American workers can compete on a level playing field. To build on that progress, we are joining nations in Asia and the Americas to negotiate a new, high-standard trade agreement: the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Once realized, the deal would boost our exports, support American jobs, and help our companies succeed in the global marketplace. And to ramp up trade with Europe, we also plan to launch talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.
My Administration is committed to expanding international commerce that creates jobs and grows our economy. During World Trade Week, we recognize workers, growers, and entrepreneurs nationwide who share that ambition, and we rededicate ourselves to advancing it in the year ahead.”