Friday, June 24, 2011

Peace Funding Vs War Funding

        At a recent informal discussion on trade capacity building for developing countries – in advance of a big World Trade Organization review of the Aid for Trade Initiative next month – US trade officials touted the latest US capacity building offer, amounting to some $120 million over four years for subSaharan Africa.
        In addition to the paucity of the amount, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk told a different audience in Washington that financial constraints in this country will force the Administration to focus on only a few countries in Africa for trade assistance rather than qualifying all 52 countries on the continent. He mentioned Tanzania and Zambia, both of which he recently visited.
        Deputy World Trade Organization Director General Valentine Rugwabiza told a session on the subject by the Washington International Trade Association that trade capacity building pledges by all industrial and advanced developing countries – including the United States – are well above expectations from two years ago.
        Deputy World Trade Organization Director General Valentine Rugwabiza told a session on the subject by the Washington International Trade Association that trade capacity building pledges by all industrial and advanced developing countries – including the United States – are well above expectations from two years ago.
        Over the past decade, US trade capacity building spending amounted to some $12 billion to all countries around the globe when the program was first state, according to an senior-level Agency for International Development Agency official. A great majority of those funds came from the US development assistance budget.
        The sad fact is that the $12 billion in "peace-building" trade infrastructure funding made over the past 10 years pales in comparison with the $10 billion the United States pours into Afghanistan every month.
        Here's the link to the WTO compilation of capacity building success stories: http://docsonline.wto.org/GEN_viewerwindow.asp?http%3A%2F%2Fdocsonline.wto.org%3A80%2FDDFDocuments%2Ft%2Fwt%2Fcomtd%2FAFTW27.doc

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