July 22, 2009
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that the United States will contribute nearly $1 million for trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) to the World Trade Organization (WTO). This latest contribution will bring total U.S. trade assistance for the Doha Development Agenda to almost $9.4 billion since the launch of negotiations in November 2001.
“This contribution is a reflection of the U.S. commitment to help developing countries participate in the Doha Round and to benefit from its results,” Ambassador Kirk said. “A successful conclusion to the negotiations that creates and secures new market openings will make an important contribution towards these countries meeting their development objectives and improving the well being of their people.”
The $950,000 U.S. contribution, which was approved by Congress, will be part of a technical assistance fund that developing nations can use for assistance in analyzing issues, assessing individual country interests, and meeting their WTO obligations.
The WTO’s TRTA program provides training for developing countries that enhances their ability to analyze issues, assess their interests and participate effectively in the negotiations. The program also provides these nations assistance in meeting their WTO obligations and ensures they fully benefit from the results of WTO negotiations.
The United States’ contribution to the WTO was appropriated by Congress as part of the funds it provides to the U.S. Department State for voluntary contributions to international organizations. It is just one part of much broader U.S. assistance efforts. The United States is the largest single country donor of trade capacity building assistance. U.S. support for trade capacity building (or “aid for trade”) since the Doha Round began in 2001, has now reached $9.358 billion.