For Brazil WTO Talks Postponement Has All to Do with US Greed

WTO, World Trade Organization World Trade Organization (WTO) chief Pascal Lamy has abandoned attempts to restart the world trade talks. Lamy told ambassadors in Geneva that he has decided there was not sufficient consensus among major economies to call new ministerial talks on a trade deal.

The news came after the WTO held intensive consultations with US, India, China, Brazil and the European Union. WTO was hoping to convene a meeting in December to try and revive the stalled Doha trade round.

It had been urged to do so by the G20 summit of world leaders in November, who called for urgent trade talks by the end of the year.

It is unclear how strongly the incoming Obama administration will back the trade talks.

A spokesman for the US trade representative, Susan Schwab, said she was disappointed by the outcome, but added that there were still outstanding issues.

"There were more than a handful of issues on the table that needed to be resolved, all having the potential to stall the round," said USTR spokesperson Gretchen Hamel.

The EU also regretted the impasse. "We have come tantalizingly close to the finish line … having come this far, we must not give up," EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton urged in a statement.

But Brazil's foreign minister, Celso Amorim, appeared to blame the rich countries, and especially the US, for the failure. "If there is failure or postponement, the most appropriate word that would apply would be greed," he told reporters.

A previous attempt to revive the trade talks in July ended in failure when rich and poor countries could not agree on how to end agricultural subsidies and trade barriers.

The Doha Round, which was launched in 2001, was intended to free world trade for the benefit of poor countries, and was particularly aimed at tackling barriers in agriculture.

But poor countries have been reluctant to open up their own agricultural and industrial sectors to free trade – and the growing economic slowdown is likely to make concessions even more difficult.

The seven-year negotiations, aimed at setting new rules for global commerce, have suffered a number of setbacks since Mr Lamy was appointed as the WTO director general in 2005.

Mercopress

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Shelly1

    Forrest
    By your favorite writer Mark Twain:

    “It is yet another Civilized Power, with its banner of the Prince of Peace in one hand and its loot-basket and its butcher-knife in the other.”

    He summed it up America’s way of doing business to a T. Although I must say, every politician is the same here in the U.S. and in Brazil. The difference? Corrupt American Politicians, those who took millions of lobbying money from the oil and auto industry do not know what to do! I have been to the Hill and have seen with my own eyes what it takes to make in this town. It is a dog-eat-dog world out there.

  • Shelly1

    free trade?
    Forrest,

    I respect you, but let’s talk about free trade. What do you understand about free trade?

    Free trade is an illusion being sold by the First World countries in order to decimate local business by giant-like corporations that only abuse and pay the lowest wages, while maximizing its profits.

    Free trade is a joke- the bad kind, I am afraid. You are beginning to sow your (America) own wrong doing. Japan is a closed market for American automobile and autoparts-even a simple spark plug cannot be sold in Japan! Free Trade? Pardon moi!

    I laugh when Americans talk about free trade when you agriculture and fishing industry is highly subsidized by your government (ours too). In the end, it is not Free Trade the name of that game, it is WHO IS THE BIGGEST LOOSER? Those without powerful allies, let it be in fishing, conservation, energy, climate change, etc. Read a book called “A lament for an Ocean by Michael Harris. I can send it to you if you want. In the end, when push comes to shove, whoever has the biggest (strongest) elbow wins!

    Free trade and free market economies are (always have been) a thing of the past.

    Welcome the age of bail-outs!

  • forrest allen brown

    brasil only wants one way trade
    this reads the real truth

    But poor countries have been reluctant to open up their own agricultural and industrial sectors to free trade – and the growing economic slowdown is likely to make concessions even more difficult.

    again it should be tit for tat as brasil wants it see how far they will grow .
    even china is taking a look at brasils way of doing the rong business

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