We are committed to providing strong political leadership for the global effort to expand opportunities for trade and to strengthen the open international trading system. Achievement of these goals is central to world economic prosperity and the effective resolution of economic problems faced by both developed and developing countries throughout the world.
Policies of protectionism foster unemployment, increase inflation and undermine the welfare of our peoples. We are therefore agreed on the need to maintain our political commitment to an open and nondiscriminatory world trading system. We will seek both nationally and through the appropriate international institutions to promote solutions that create new jobs and consumer benefits through expanded trade and to avoid approaches which restrict trade.
The Tokyo Round of multilateral trade negotiations must be pursued vigorously. The continuing economic difficulties make it even more essential to achieve the objectives of the Tokyo Declaration and to negotiate a comprehensive set of agreements to the maximum benefit of all. Toward this end, we will seek this year to achieve substantive progress in such key areas as:
(i) A tariff reduction plan of broadest possible application designed to achieve a substantial cut and harmonization and in certain cases the elimination of tariffs;
(ii) Codes, agreements and other measures that will facilitate a significant reduction of nontariff barriers to trade and the avoidance of new barriers in the future and that will take into account the structural changes which have taken place in the world economy;
(iii) A mutually acceptable approach to agriculture that will achieve increased expansion and stabilization of trade, and greater assurance of world food supplies.
Such progress should not remove the right of individual countries under existing international agreements to avoid significant market disruption.
While seeking to conclude comprehensive and balanced agreements on the basis of reciprocity among all industrial countries we are determined, in accordance with the aims of the Tokyo Declaration, to ensure that the agreements provide special benefits to developing countries.
We welcome the action taken by governments to reduce counterproductive competition in officially supported export credits and propose that substantial further efforts be made this year to improve and extend the present consensus in this area.
We consider that irregular practices and improper conduct should be eliminated from international trade, banking and commerce, and we welcome the work being done toward international agreements prohibiting illicit payments.
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Revised: February 09, 2007.
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