Free trade will help Americas compete with China, India: Bush

Press Trust of India

Washington, November 7, 2005
US President George W Bush has said that it will be easier for people in the western hemisphere to compete with countries like China and India if they adhere to free trade.
“By working for free, and I repeat, fair trade across this hemisphere, we will bring all our people into the expanding circle of development — we’ll make it easier for those of us who live in this hemisphere to compete with countries like China and India — but most importantly, trade means jobs for people”, Bush said.
The President made the remarks on Sunday during the course of his speech on democracy in the Western Hemisphere at the Brazillian capital, Brasilia.
Bush stopped for an official visit in Brazil after the Summit of Americas in Argentina, from where he returned empty handed on his push for a Free Trade Area for the Americas.
In Brazil, the US President focussed on the World Trade Organisation’s negotiations and the need for the Doha Round to succeed.
“A successful Doha Round will open up markets for farm products, and services, and industrial goods across this hemisphere and across the globe.
“Under Doha, every nation will gain — and the developing world stands to gain the most. The World Bank estimates that if the Doha Round passes, 300 million people will be lifted from poverty”, Bush said.
“My administration has offered a bold proposal for Doha that would substantially reduce agricultural tariffs and trade-distorting subsidies in a first stage — and over a period of fifteen years, eliminate them altogether,” he said.
Bush said the greatest obstacles to a successful Doha Round are the countries that stand firm in the way of dismantling the tariffs, and barriers, and trade-distorting subsidies that isolate the poor on this continent from the “great opportunities of the 21st century”.
“Only an ambitious reform agenda in agriculture, and manufactured goods, and services can ensure that the benefits of free and fair trade are enjoyed by all people in all countries”, he said.
Bush said he agreed with the criticism of the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that trade distorting agricultural subsidies in the developed world were undercutting farmers in the developing world.
“Leaders who are concerned about the harmful effects of high tariffs and farm subsidies must move the Doha Round forward,” Bush said.

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