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Barack Obama welcomes landmark WTO trade agreement

Sunday, 8 December 2013 - 9:21pm IST | Agency: PTI

US President Barack Obama today welcomed the first-ever multilateral trade agreement in the 20-year history of the World Trade Organisation noting that it will eliminate red tape and bureaucratic delay for goods shipped around the globe.

"This new deal, and particularly the new trade facilitation agreement, will eliminate red tape and bureaucratic delay for goods shipped around the globe," Obama said in a statement.

"Small businesses will be among the biggest winners, since they encounter the greatest difficulties in navigating the current system. By some estimates, the global economic value of the new WTO deal could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars," he said.

The WTO's Bali agreement also represents the rejuvenation of the multilateral trading system that supports millions of American jobs and offers a forum for the robust enforcement of America's trade rights, he said.

"As such, we are proud of the United States' leadership role in reaching this accord and congratulate WTO Director-General Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo and our fellow WTO members on this achievement," Obama said.

In the first-ever agreement reached after the launch of the Doha Round of trade talks, ministers from 159 countries approved the Bali package yesterday.

Overcoming a string of failures over the years, the WTO reached the landmark agreement that can help boost global trade by USD 1 trillion, while taking on board concerns of countries like India to protect its food security scheme to provide subsidised grains to the poor.


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