U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives


U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator says US wants to move ahead on WTO negotiations in 2004

Ambassador Allen Johnson of the Office of the US Trade Representative meets with Uruguayan officials, media.


Feb. 11, 2004



Ambassador Allen Johnson , the U.S. chief agricultural negotiator from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, told members of the Uruguayan media Tuesday (Feb. 10) that the U.S. wants to move forward in 2004 in negotiations in the World Trade Organization and is seeking support from all WTO members.

“As the U.S. is committed to the reform of agriculture in the WTO, we know we can’t do it by ourselves,” Johnson said during a press conference held at the U.S. Embassy, Montevideo. “It requires the contribution of all members of the WTO in order for it to succeed and through that, countries like Uruguay, the United States and others can see expanded market opportunities and a world marketplace less filled with distortions.”

Johnson is touring South America while US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick visits other capitals and key cities around the world to discuss how to make progress in 2004. The goal is to reduce trade barriers to expand global economic growth development and opportunity, Johnson said. He added that the information collected during this tour would be used in the Cairns Group meeting of agricultural exporting countries scheduled for late February in Costa Rica.

Johnson told the media that Zoellick wrote to all 146 of his WTO ministerial colleagues sharing his assessment of the state of negotiations and how all WTO members might work together. He also shared a copy of the letter with media representatives.

“My main objective is to see how countries are thinking after receiving that letter, how we can help move the WTO forward as a system and how countries can help themselves in that process,” Johnson said. “Uruguay has always been a very responsible contributor to that process and we want to make sure that they get their thoughts in as we attempt to move the WTO forward.”

During his three days in Montevideo, Johnson was scheduled to meet with Martin Aguirrezabala, Uruguay’s minister of livestock, agriculture and fisheries; Richard Seizer, president of the chamber of Commerce and Export of Agriproducts and Agroindustrial Products; and Guillermo Valles, Acting Foreign Minister on issues of agriculture and trade affecting Uruguay.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy and leading or directing negotiations with other countries on such matters.

Full text of U.S. Trade Representative Zoellick's letter

USTR web site



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