Brazil Accuses US and EU of Exporting Poverty to the Poor

Brazil is willing to show the "necessary flexibility" to successfully conclude the World Trade Organization Doha Round talks, announced Monday, July 17, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in St. Petersburg.

Speaking during the Group of Eight (G8) meeting in Russia, Lula said he would instruct the Brazilian negotiating delegation to show the necessary flexibility "with the purpose of achieving an ambitious and balanced Doha Round" to expand and liberalize global trade.

But, "I don’t expect less from my colleagues meeting here", added Lula addressing the leaders of United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Russia.

G8 members invited Brazil, Mexico, India, China and South Africa, to participate Monday in a closed session to address among other issues, global trade in the framework of the WTO. Doha Round negotiations have been stalled because of the conflicting positions between the leading members of WTO.

Before the meeting the Brazilian president said that "lack of leadership" from the most powerful economies was behind the current situation in global trade negotiations.

"The Doha Round negotiations are in crisis. But it is political rather than technical, and mainly because lack of leadership" underlined Lula da Silva.

Import duties, which protect rich countries markets, and billions of dollars handed out to farmers are "excessive, illegal and inhumane" and only help to "export poverty" to developing countries struggling to have access to developed countries markets.

"Poor countries don’t need favors, rather fair trade conditions", he insisted.

Last week before flying to Russia the Brazilian president said WTO negotiations couldn’t advance further from a technical point of view, but to keep advancing a "political decision" from the leaders of the most industrialized countries was needed.

Over the past few months Lula has spoken by telephone several times with the U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and French Premier Jacques Chirac in an attempt to convince them that the developing world needs "a break".

Some 100 developing countries, among them Brazil and India, agreed July 1st in Geneva to negotiate as a bloc to save the Doha Round after talks in the Swiss city on global trade stalled.

Talks in Geneva stalled amid disagreement over how much rich countries should lower farm subsidies and tariffs and how much developing nations should open their markets for manufactured and industrial goods.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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