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Trade dialogue

  • Date(s)
    17 June 2005
  • Location
    Washington DC

Policy Network, in cooperation with the Center for American Progress, organised a high-level discussion on trade that took place on the eve of the US-EU summit in Washington, DC. Peter Mandelson, in his capacity as honorary chair of Policy Network, chaired the meeting.

The dialogue took place on Saturday, June 18, in Washington, DC, and was attended by twenty senior politicians and advisors from Europe, the United States as well as emerging economies such as Chile, India, Peru and South Africa.

During the discussion, participants sought to define a common, progressive position on trade and development, and focused more specifically on addressing the challenge of fair trade and agricultural subsidies in the context of the Doha round.

    * After a challenging debate in which stimulating new ideas were shared, the following principles were largely agreed upon:
      Pro open markets that foster growth.
    * Pro a trading system and Doha Round that works to raise the living standards of the world’s poorest.
    * Pro dialogue with newly emerging industrial powers to make them partners not rivals and to promote fairness, reciprocal access to markets and sustainable development.

Protectionism is not the route to prosperity and greater social justice in either the developed or developing world.  The progressive mantra should be progressive market opening – helping poor countries step by step to become full participants in the global trading system.

Fair trade requires a measured response by the world’s richer countries to accusations of environmental and social dumping.  Industrialising countries with lower labour costs must be allowed to exploit their comparative advantage – but in a way that respects international norms and standards.

Free trade is not a magic wand.  Greater opportunities to trade must be combined with strengthening the capacities of poor countries to participate in trade through better governance and supply side investment. The G8 should support a well targeted programme of “aid for trade”.

The WTO’s multilateral system of rules-based order, including an international arbitration system for settling trade disputes, should be strengthened. Rules protect the economically weak against the strong and powerful.  Bi-plurilateral regional trade agreements should be designed to supplement the WTO system, not to undermine it.

New social programmes to facilitate trade adjustment should be strengthened– offering a practical policy response to the erosion of preferences in the developing world and trade shocks that affect workers in the EU and US.

Progressives need a sharper focus on the problems of the ‘losers’ from globalisation – a new social model that promotes opportunity and security for all.
 
 
Participant List

Peter Mandelson (Discussion Chair), EU Trade Commissioner
Madeleine Albright, Principal, The Albright Group, LLC
Giuliano Amato, Vice-President, PSE
Michael Andrews, Vice-President and Director of International Business Affairs, Citigroup
Mudunwazi Baloyi, Economic Minister at Embassy of South Africa in Washington DC
Matt Browne, Director, Policy Network
Cassandra Butts, Senior Vice-President and Coordinator for Domestic Policy at Center for American Progress
Jake Caldwell, Director of Policy for the Resources for Global Growth programme at Center for American Progress
Tom Daschle, Special Policy Advisor, Alston & Bird
Pablo de la Flor, Vice Minister for International Trade, Peru
Simon Fraser, Head of Cabinet of the EU Trade Commissioner
Michiel van Hulten, Vice-chair, Policy Network
Michael Kline, Citigroup, CEO of Global Banking
Ricardo A. Lagos, Multilateral Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile
Sandy Levin, US Senate
Elias Luna, Head of Agricultural Policy, Brazilian Embassy in Washington DC
Callisto Madavo, Advisor to the managing director, World Bank
Barbara Masekela, Ambassador of South Africa to the US
Nicole Mlade, Global Alliances Programme Director, Center for American Progress
Pier Carlo Padoan, Executive Director, IMF
John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress
Clyde Prestowitz, President, Economic Strategy Unit
Ira Shapiro, Counsel to Greenberg and Traurig
Gayle Smith, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Gene Sperling, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Daniel Tarullo, Professor, Georgetown Law School
Karen Tramontano, President, Global Fairness Initiative

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