Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference

Letter to Members of the Press

From Howard H. Baker, Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan

September 3, 2003

Dear Members of the Press Corps:

I recently wrote a column on the need for Japan's active input at the Ministerial Meeting in Cancun. As I mentioned at that time, the Cancun Ministerial represents a critical juncture in the negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda. It is clear, as we now reach the halfway point in those negotiations, that we have much unfinished business.

When trade is liberalized across the globe, the whole world benefits. Previous multilateral trade liberalization talks have shown us that when trade barriers fall, poverty is reduced, economies and businesses grow, incomes go up, jobs are created, costs are lowered, and consumers get more choices.

Countries such as the U.S. and Japan, as global leaders and economic superpowers, have an obligation to the developing world to grow the global economy, and a moral responsibility to reduce poverty and stimulate economic opportunity worldwide. The world looks to us to show vision and strength in Cancun.

I am heartened by the vast amount of balanced and fair reporting I have seen in recent months on this issue. Clearly the members of the Press Corps understand how critical the success of the Doha Development Agenda is to all of us, and most especially to the developing world. I trust that the enclosed materials will further enhance your understanding of this vitally important subject, and reassure you of the commitment of the U.S. Government to bring the Doha Development Agenda negotiations to a successful conclusion.


Howard H. Baker, Jr.