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ONE Statement on the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting

Today, trade ministers completed trade talks critical to the outcome of the World Trade Organization Doha Development round. While the agreement makes some progress on changing the rules of trade, international trade negotiators have missed a crucial opportunity in Hong Kong to fight poverty though the real reform of trade.

The Hong Kong Ministerial falls far short of the original goals of the WTO’s four-year-old Doha Development Agenda. The world’s leaders promised a world trade round to end poverty and reduce farm subsidies that keep the world’s poorest people from earning a fair living through trade. More work remains in order for developed nations to keep their promises and demonstrate bold leadership by changing global trade rules to level the playing field for developing countries and give people the tools to trade their way out of poverty.

Any trade agreement will only be successful with appropriate and sufficient complementary assistance, with full funding of the fight against extreme poverty and global AIDS. More work will be needed to transform millions of lives through the real reform of trade, including:

Agriculture Subsidies: Agreement to end export subsidies was welcome but setting it in 2013 is lamentably distant. Modest progress made on opening up developed country markets to duty-free and quota- free products from developing countries, but much more must be done to eliminate subsidies that cause overproduction and commodity dumping by developed countries.

Power to Decide: Much more progress is needed in giving developing countries the power to decide their own trade policies, in accordance with their development strategies.

Transparency: We must ensure all nations have a seat at the table, ensuring a transparent and democratic negotiating process, with more work remaining in fully engaging developing countries in trade discussions.

“Aid for Trade”: The U.S. took a step forward in doubling its trade development assistance to $2.7 billion a year by 2010, but nations must offer additional meaningful trade capacity building assistance to increase developing countries’ ability to produce competitive products. We must also work to prevent any possible unintended negative consequences of trade liberalization for poor and vulnerable people.