Statement of Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America:
"Oxfam looks forward to working closely with Mr. Portman, President Bush's nominee as the USTR, to get international trade negotiations back on track and to ensure that the agreements of the Doha Round are truly reflective of the goals of eliminating poverty.
"2005 is a critical year for the Doha Development Round and there is no time to waste. The credibility of the US and international trade negotiations lies in the USTR's hands. Mr. Portman must gain the trust of developing countries by the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial and show that the US will play by the rules by eliminating trade-distorting subsidies.
"In bilateral and regional trade agreements, the USTR has used stiff-arm tactics and blocked civil society participation to force developing countries to make harsh concessions. Oxfam looks forward to working with Mr. Portman to change that trend and prove that the US is truly interested in eradicating global poverty."