The US Alliance for Trade Expansion (US Trade) ran a series of ‘education’ events across the US in the lead up to the Seattle WTO Ministerial meeting. It also organized a ‘war room’ in Seattle in the week before the WTO ministerial meeting ‘to provide rapid response from the pro-trade business community to the many allegations expected to be raised by protestors’.
US Trade was chaired by executives from Boeing, Caterpillar and Procter and Gamble. Its steering committee included members of the American Chemistry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Coalition of Service Industries , ECAT, NFTC, Ford Motor Company, Texas Instruments, the Business Roundtable, USCIB (which proclaimed itself a leading member) and the US Chamber of Commerce. It was housed at NAM.
As with other coalitions its members featured a who’s who of American corporations and trade associations including the American Petroleum Institute, Bayer, Chubb, Consumers for World Trade, DaimlerChrysler, DuPont, Federal Express, Hewlett-Packard, the National Mining Association, Nestle, Pfizer. It aimed to ‘promote the benefits of economic growth, job expansion, and higher living standards in the United States as a result of free trade, with a special emphasis on the advantages the US receives by its participation in the rules-based multilateral trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization (WTO).’
USTrade was reborn in 2005 as ABCDoha (American Business Coalition for Doha) with a mission of amplifying “the voice of American business in advocating for an ambitious, balanced, and comprehensive agreement from the Doha Round”, by working closely with “the U.S. Administration, U.S. Congress, WTO leadership, officials and colleagues in other WTO member countries, and other NGOs” as well as “conducting widespread education campaigns about the benefits of trade liberalization” (ABCDoha, 2006)