The president of the United States Council for International Business, Peter M. Robinson, issued the following statement in response to news of the breakup of the G4 (Brazil, India, EU, U.S.) meeting in Potsdam, Germany on the WTO Doha Round:
"USCIB calls on governments to quickly revisit their positions and find the political will to overcome the lack of progress at the Potsdam G4 meeting.
"The defining moment of the Doha Round is now. The outlines of a balanced agreement are clearly visible. But unless this setback is rapidly reversed, there will be no time to conclude an agreement by the end of this year, before the U.S. becomes politically locked up in its 2008 election campaigns.
"USCIB remains committed, as a matter of top priority, to achieving substantial new trade liberalization in industrial goods, services and agriculture products in the Round.
"The Doha Round is the best opportunity to boost economic growth and development, not just for the United States, but also for all WTO members. Governments must not fail to seize it.
"USCIB strongly supports the leadership efforts of the U.S. negotiators and appreciates their willingness to show flexibility. Clearly, all governments must find more flexibility, and do it now, to prevent a failure of this Round."
Mr. Robinson also expressed full support for the statement issued by International Chamber of Commerce Chairman Marcus Wallenberg. The ICC says in its website:
"ICC very much regrets what appears to be a further setback to the Doha round of world trade negotiations, which we consider to be of major importance to the future health of the world economy.
"World leaders at the very highest level must throw their full weight behind reaching common ground and use their influence to get the deal done," said Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of ICC and Chairman of the Swedish banking group SEB.
"This must be done quickly to give enough time to governments to hammer out the technical details so that a final deal can be reached by year-end."
"A successful Doha round agreement will create opportunities to raise living standards in both developed and developing countries. It will also reinforce the multilateral trading system that has served the world so well for the past 60 years," Mr Wallenberg added.
ICC has called before for strong government action to reach an agreement on the Doha round that is ambitious, balanced and comprehensive.