|Since the end of May, there has been renewed hope that the multilateral trade negotiations will lead to an agreement. This follows overtures by Europe in particular on the questions of agriculture and the so-called "Singapore issues". The United States has welcomed Europe's new propositions.
This meeting of the CEPII Business Club will examine the US positions on trade, with respect to Europe and to the developing countries. America's interest in pursuing negotiations has been questioned, given a number of unilateral decisions by the Bush administration (on Asia, on textiles etc.), which have led to concerns about the US retreating into protectionism.
However, the scrapping of steel tariffs, and a willingness to settle the FSC problem since early 2004 indicate a thawing of positions.
Robert B. Koopman, Director of Economic Studies at the USTIC (US International Trade Commission), the body responsible for advising Congress and the President, will offer his views of the changing US position. He will talk both about the negotiations as a whole, as well as about agriculture, on which he is a specialist (he worked in the US Department of Agriculture for 15 years).
Emmanuel Batallan, Head of the "Market Access" Unit at the France's Directorate of Foreign Economic Relations, will provide a French view of American policy.