The United States will contribute $1 million for trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) to the World Trade Organization.
The WTO’s TRTA program provides training for developing countries to improve their ability to analyze issues, assess their interests and participate in the negotiations and other WTO activities. The program also provides these nations with help in meeting their WTO obligations and ensures they fully benefit from the results of being a WTO member.
“This contribution reflects our commitment to work with developing countries as partners and to ensure that developing countries can participate effectively in all the activities of the WTO,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.
The U.S. contribution, which was approved by Congress, will bring total U.S. trade assistance for the Doha Development Agenda to almost $12 million since the launch of negotiations in November 2001.
The United States also announced on Tuesday that it will give $150,000 for technical assistance to support developing countries’ participation in the WTO’s Trade Facilitation negotiations. “Specifically, the funds are being provided in response to some developing countries’ request to update the assessment of their technical assistance and implementation needs with respect to various trade facilitation and customs reforms that are currently being negotiated,” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said.
Needs assessments were conducted in the area of trade facilitation in 2007-2010, and in response to the request of some members, the WTO will be updating those assessments to reflect changes since the initial assessments.
“The elimination of unnecessary red tape and modernization of customs procedures that will result from trade facilitation improvements has the potential to deliver significant development gains, and we remain committed to working with our developing country partners to make these gains achievable,” Kirk said.