After Talking to Blair and Merkel Brazil Lula’s Is Hopeful on WTO Accord

Speaking this Monday, May 15, to Brazilians on his weekly radio program, "Breakfast with the President," the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, declared that he believed an agreement within the World Trade Organization framework was possible this year.

Lula made his remarks following the summit in Austria which brought together the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean. Lula said he was encouraged in his conversations with the leaders of England, Tony Blair, and Germany, Ângela Merkel.

According to Lula, a worldwide agreement has to deal with three problems. First, the United States has to reduce farm subsidies.

Then, the EU has to open its markets to farm produce from developing and poor nations. Finally, developing nations, those in the G-20, have to open their markets to manufactured goods from rich nations.

"If we can achieve this triangulation, we can surprise the world with an agreement that everyone thinks is impossible. I am convinced that if we all work together in a responsible manner it can be done. We can make it possible for poor nations to sell their goods on world markets," said Lula.

The Brazilian president added that he hoped progress would be made on the issue at the next G-8 meeting in Saint Petersburg in July. "An agreement like this would mean progress for the next 20 to 30 years in world trade," Lula concluded.

ABr

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