The International Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1919 to promote trade and investment as a vehicle to spread peace and prosperity. ICC was involved in the creation of the Bretton Woods system and in nine successive rounds of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)/ World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations. In keeping with this historic mission, ICC is leading a business initiative to define a new, post-round agenda for trade negotiations which can result in a Doha victory.
The Doha Development Agenda negotiations (Doha Round) were launched at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference, in Doha on 9-11 November 2001. After over a decade of postponed deadlines, negotiations have reached a lasting stalemate. WTO members are however unlikely to declare the Round is dead. Meanwhile countries are having increasing recourse to protectionist measures, with de-globalization and the use of trade barriers being in many countries brandished as a viable economic alternative to the rules based global trade liberalization.
As global value chains (GVCs) have become a dominant feature of today's global economy, as a result there is growing evidence and recognition that the nature of trade is changing. World trade is now characterized by the international globalization of production driven by technological progress, cost, and access to resources and markets. Traditional measures of trade that record gross flows of goods and services each time they cross borders do not reflect the value that is added in a country in the production of any good or service that is exported, nor do such measures reflect the role of imports of intermediate goods and services in export performance.
Looking at trade from a value-added perspective better reveals how upstream domestic industries contribute to exports, even if they have little direct international exposure. These changes in the nature of world trade have considerable implications for the policy choices and global rules that will allow governments and business to leverage trade and investment in the most effective way to contribute to economic growth and job creation.
ICC applauds the renewed pursuit of a comprehensive multilateral trade negotiating agenda in the WTO following the recent Bali success. In addition, ICC supports the pursuit of further trade liberalization regionally, through negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Pacific Alliance. Given this recent positive momentum, ICC sees a real opportunity to attain overall progress on the global trade agenda.
ICC will mobilize its international business network to define the agenda for a Doha victory, and work with governments for the implementation of this new approach to trade negotiations. In the process, ICC will actively promote the effectiveness of international trade and investment as a motor for economic growth and job creation.