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Brazil Accuses EU of Moving Backwards on WTO Agreement

In a press conference Tuesday, January 24, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, stated that he does not expect much progress at the annual meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in Davos, Switzerland. The meeting begins today and ends on Sunday, January 29.

"Significant progress is not likely. The negotiations in Hong Kong reached the limit of what was possible at that moment. There must be a pause before discussions involving more substantial matters are resumed. I am going there to observe the ritual as well as to establish procedures for the future," the Minister commented.

Amorim noted that the European Union has been emitting negative signals with respect to the issues discussed at the Hong Kong meeting, which took place in December, 2005.

"I thought it was still too soon to expect a robust offer of new markets. And on the basis of what was said and placed on the table by the negotiators at Geneva, we are sensing a movement in two directions on the part of the European Union.

"When it comes to agriculture, there is a tendency to claim that we have already done all we could. In other words, that the offer is final," he explained.

Another item mentioned by the Minister was the question of market access. According to Amorim, the European Union wants to deal with this question in terms of quantities of products.

In his view, this is not a positive solution, since it will stimulate divisions among the developing countries, which united to negotiate at the Hong Kong meeting.

"Even if this approach could satisfy the interests of some countries, it would be inadequate to produce the kind of tariff reductions that might lead the United States, another major subsidizer, to lower its domestic subsidies the way it should, the way we want," he said.

According to the Minister, the impression conveyed by the developed countries is that the agreements discussed in Hong Kong will never be implemented.

"What is on the table is a veiled attempt to move backwards. One gets the impression that defensive instruments are beginning to take shape so that the commitment that was assumed in Doha, in Agreement 4 of 2004, and now in Hong Kong will never be fulfilled," he said.

Following the WTO meeting, the Minister will participate in a conference on Afghanistan, at the invitation of British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

Brazil was the only Latin American country invited to the conference, which will discuss the participation of the international community in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Agência Brasil

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  • Show Comments (4)

  • Guest

    E.U.did not go backward, as you insinuat
    For the time being they did not change 1
    word on their offer.

    The fact is that you did not then and still not now…..offered 1 centavos on the negotiation table.

  • Guest

    Golden Elephants ????
    Not enough !

    They want Platinum Elephants !
    Twice as more expensive than gold.

    On top the E.U will have to feed the elephants free of charge for Brazil, of course.

    the word FAIR is not in any brazilian
    dictionary. They dont know what we are talking about !

    Celso Amorim said it clearly :
    “the way we (Brazil) want”.
    By definition this not a bilateral negotiation but an imposition of their insistance.

  • Guest

    Could Brazil expect…..Golden Elephants?

    Com on…lets be fair!

  • Guest

    It will never be fulfilled, CORRECT !
    But why ?

    We put something large on the table for the agriculture.
    Not only it was not enough for you, but you offered NOTHING.

    Therefore how can you expect something positive to be finalized ?

    Afterall the EU is already your biggest or second biggest trading partners and YOU have already a HUGE TRADE SURPLUS with the EU.

    What do you expect more…if you are fair ?

    Is it not fair trade that you expect ?
    Or just one way trade ?

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