Thank you Mr. Chairman.
The events of the past year and the difficult economic times have brought the importance of international trade to the forefront. The tremendous growth in world trade experienced in the decade preceding the economic downturn demonstrated its importance as a driver of economic development. Conversely, the 10 percent decline projected for this year has shown us the painful effects of a drop in world trade. The second committee comes together today in a year where we have seen trade drop precipitously and many countries and vulnerable populations suffer as a result. Now, more than in any time in recent memory, the work of this committee on this issue can have meaningful impact. Our discussions should set a tone of common commitment to strengthen the enabling environment for international trade and hasten the return to inclusive prosperity and growth.
It is a triumph that the international community demonstrated unity, maturity and confidence in the benefits of the international trade regime and resisted pressures to slip into the protectionist ways of the past. Thankfully, trade is a stabilizing and is even showing the first signs of a rebound.The World Bank predicts international trade growth of close to 4 percent next year due in no small part to the continuing commitment by nations around the world to maintain free and open trading relationships. History will prove that in these difficult economic times, countries were correct to hold firm to their commitments to internationalism.
It is critical that our discussions in the coming weeks produce an outcome that will unequivocally support and build upon the turnaround and evolving recovery in trade. The mutual gains from trade have long been well established. Effective trade leads to increases in national production and incomes. At the Pittsburgh Summit, G-20 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fight protectionism and strive to bring the Doha Round of trade negotiations to a successful conclusion. We must continue to work together to reinvigorate the multilateral trade agenda and reach an ambitious and balanced agreement on the Doha Round. The United States is here today, eager to roll-up our sleeves and get to work with the other Member States on the important trade related work before us.
Thank you very much.
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