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Removing Trade Barriers: Aid Growth, Stem Poverty

Removing Trade Barriers Would Aid Growth, Stem Poverty, Snow Says

Treasury secretary also calls on donor countries to track results of aid

The removal of trade barriers under the Doha Round negotiations is "the greatest step our governments can take to generate increased growth and poverty reduction," U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow tells members of the Development Committee, a forum of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

In his remarks to the committee September 25, Snow noted that the United States has one of the least restrictive trade regimes in the world.

"This not only benefits U.S. consumers but also exporting countries, the producers who provide the goods, and the individuals and families who see their living standards increase with new and better paying jobs," he said.

Snow stressed that developing countries must reduce their own trade barriers in order to reap the benefits of trade liberalization. He added that increased market access in services is critical, particularly in the financial sector, and has the potential to generate even more income than opening markets for goods.

"The World Bank estimated that if developing countries were to liberalize four key infrastructure services they could, by 2015, generate income gains four and a half times greater than the gains from goods liberalization alone," Snow said.

The Treasury Secretary also called upon the World Bank and other multilateral development institutions "to deepen and broaden their continuing efforts to measure the concrete results of the assistance they provide so that resources can be applied most effectively."

For its part, the United States will continue to increase aid to "those high performing countries that can demonstrate how our assistance will result in greater growth and poverty reduction," he said.

Snow noted that the United States has already launched a number of programs -- such as the Millennium Challenge Account, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Initiative on Malaria and the Initiative to End Hunger in Africa -- to fight infectious diseases and to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of foreign aid.

The United States has also increased Official Development Assistance (ODA) since 2000 from $10 billion to $19 billion in 2004 and plans to double aid to sub-Saharan Africa between 2004 and 2010.

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