USAID Announces Global Public-Private Trade Alliance

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Office of Press Relations
For Immediate Release
July 1, 2015
 
PRESS RELEASE
 
USAID Announces Global Public-Private Trade Alliance

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with support from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), is playing a leading role in the formation of an international public-private sector coalition that is crafting a global trade alliance designed to streamline border management in developing countries associated with implementation of the new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The formation of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation “the Alliance” was announced at a meeting of Aid for Trade in Geneva, Switzerland today.  It plans to formally launch later this year at the Tenth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya in December.

In addition to USAID, the event included development agencies from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada, as well as private sector entities such as United Parcel Post (UPS), Samsung, and the Borderless Alliance.  The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Center for Private Enterprise (CIPE/US Chamber of Commerce), which also participated, will serve as the host organizations and will grow the Alliance through its initial stages, each bringing specialized expertise to support the Alliance’s objectives.

With the conclusion of negotiations on the WTO TFA, the first new multilateral agreement in the 20 year history of the WTO, and governments have expressed interest in assisting developing countries to participate in global markets and drive economic growth.

“WTO member governments cannot implement the TFA alone,” said Eric Postel, USAID’s Associate Administrator in Geneva today. “Rather they need to forge new approaches to fully deliver on the vast potential of streamlining border management. One critical new approach to this is partnering with the private sector.”

To assist developing countries in implementing the TFA, the Alliance will create a framework for international and developing country businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized ones, to partner with governments to deliver trade facilitation reforms that are commercially meaningful and driven by real-world business metrics.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that inadequate, trade-restrictive border procedures raise total trade costs by up to 17.5 percent.  Reducing these costs can deliver tremendous benefits. Estimates show that even a one percent reduction in global trade costs will increase worldwide income by more than $40 billion, most of which would accrue in developing countries.

Trade facilitation is a critical issue for both the private and the public sectors.  While the private sector brings additional knowledge and an appreciation of local needs and issues, as well as a strong incentive for change, governments are responsible for implementing the provisions of the TFA, which promises to increase public sector efficiency and foster greater competition and growth.

For more information about joining the Alliance, please contact Virginia Brown at vbrown@usaid.gov.

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