WASHINGTON--(Coalition of Service Industries welcomed the announcement today by President Obama to the U.S. Congress of the United States’ intention to formally join a major new international trade negotiation on services.)--The
“We are pleased that the United States is ready to fight for new trade rules to enable the services sector to achieve its potential as the engine of our economy.”
“Services are vital to the future of the U.S. economy and prosperity of American workers,” said Peter Allgeier, president of the Coalition of Service Industries. “We are pleased that the United States is ready to fight for new trade rules to enable the services sector to achieve its potential as the engine of our economy.”
A diverse group of 21 countries are currently engaged in talks in Geneva, Switzerland to produce a new plurilateral services agreement. These countries represent 70 percent of the world’s trade in services. The services negotiations were initiated by countries following the unsuccessful World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha round.
“The world wants and waits for a new international services agreement,” said Allgeier. “The services negotiations mark an overdue recognition of the need to break out of the Doha round straitjacket, and no longer let results be hostage to impasses in other negotiations.”
The Coalition of Service Industries also issued a letter today to President Obama supporting his commitment to robust services trade as a cornerstone to the recovery and growth of the U.S. economy, and calling for his leadership in achieving an ambitious outcome to the negotiations.
In the United States, services generate more than 75 percent of national economic output and provide 80 percent of private sector jobs. All businesses and sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing, depend on services industries for their success. The last major services negotiation, producing the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), occurred nearly 20 years ago.
The Coalition of Service Industries represents the interests of the American Service economy. Our members include the vast array of companies that provide services domestically and globally, including banking, delivery and logistics, energy, insurance, media and entertainment, retail and wholesale services, technology, telecommunications, and other services sectors.