March 9, 1995

  1. The Keidanren, the National Association of Manufacturers of the United States, the U.S. Council for International Business, the American Electronics Association, the (US) ProTrade Group and UNICE were supportive of the Uruguay Round negotiations and cooperative and instrumental in bringing them to a successful conclusion. With the World Trade Organisation starting its activities, their representatives met in Brussels on 9 March to discuss the implications of the new international trade order.

  2. The participants in the meeting reaffirmed their support for the multilateral trading system, including further trade liberalisation, and their desire to see all its new rules applied by the largest possible number of countries in order to improve the predictability and stability of international trade. They noted however, that the monetary crises are jeopardising this stability and call for the further discussions.

  3. In the immediate future they would like to see:
    effective implementation of WTO and of its new dispute-settlement body. They urge that the appeal body and future panels should include persons with solid business experience, finalisation, by the deadlines laid down in the agreements, of negotiations which it proved impossible to complete during the Uruguay Round such as financial services and basic telecommunication, accession of the People's Republic of China to the WTO and its rules, as soon as possible, on acceptable terms.

  4. The organisations welcomed the establishment of the WTO Trade and Environment Committee and expressed their support for environmental improvements, recognising that good environmental policies will not occur in the absence of economic growth. They believe that unilateral trade measures are not appropriate to achieve environmental objectives but multilateral environmental agreements are the preferred mechanism.

  5. The other issues of international trade, in particular the proposed links between international trade and labour standards, investment and competition, were also the subject of an exchange of views. The issue which American, European and Japanese companies regard as most pressing is liberalisation and protection of foreign direct investment. Given the link between trade and investment, they all call for a multilateral agreement with high standards of liberalisation, provisions for transparency and protection of investments involving the largest possible number of countries.

  6. The last subject discussed was regional trade arrangements. The new opportunities for market access represented by such arrangements in terms of trade and investment for all countries are welcomed provided that these arrangements are in conformity with the WTO rules.

  7. In conclusion, the participants in the 9 March meeting decided to pursue their discussions in order to establish common approaches on WTO issues.

U. S. A.

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