WTO Talks Stop, Blame Game Starts. EU Blames US, US Blames Brazil…

WTO chief Pascal Lamy decided to call it quits after trade ministers from the European Union and five other powerful trading nations, known as the G-6, failed to reach a deal that would have allowed the global trade talks to continue.

Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile calls this a very disappointing outcome, especially for colleagues in the developing world. But he says this does not mark the end of the WTO, nor necessarily of the talks, known as the Doha round.

"No, it is not the death blow of Doha. The round is not dead," he said. "The round is put in a state of suspension until we can find the ingredients that will carry it forward and deliver on the mandate of Doha. What I’m saying is that no member of this organization should be prepared to get an outcome that is anything less than what we set as an objective in Doha. We certainly are not."

The aim of the Doha Development Round was to boost the world economy and lift millions of people out of poverty by lowering trade barriers across all regions. One of the major goals was to open markets to exports from developing countries.

In the end, countries could not agree on what steps were needed to let the trade talks move ahead. It did not take long for the blame game to begin. The European Union blamed the failure on the United States, saying it showed little willingness to compromise. EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said the United States had been unwilling to reduce government subsidies paid to American farmers.

But Washington said the EU and other WTO members had not done enough to lower farm tariff barriers. U.S. officials also blamed Brazil and India for refusing to cut barriers on industrial imports.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab expressed her disappointment that the G-6 ministers were not able to reach an agreement when they met Sunday.

"While the United States was prepared to do more, yesterday’s focus on the loopholes in market access, on the layers of loopholes, revealed that a number of developed and advanced developing countries were looking for ways to be less ambitious, to avoid making ambitious contributions," said Schwab. "But that does not mean the United States is giving up. ‘Doha Lite’ has never been an option for the United States; it is still not an option."

Schwab says WTO members must figure out how to move forward from this setback. Otherwise, a unique opportunity to help developing countries and to spur global economic growth will have been missed.

Many countries believe it could take anywhere from months to years to restart the negotiations. The World Bank estimates a trade deal could pump at least $96 billion into the global economy and lift 66 million people out of poverty.

VoA

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

São Paulo, Brazil, governor Geraldo Alckmin

Brazil: The PSDB Takes the Hard Road

The manner in which the PSDB went about choosing its presidential candidate, Geraldo Alckmin, ...

Brazil and Argentina Ready to Create Binational Nuclear Agency

Brazil and Argentina are intent on addressing the creation of a binational nuclear energy ...

Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest Policy Is a One-Way Road to Disaster

Depletion of the Amazon Rainforest is not a new concern facing environmentalists, biologists, ecologists, ...

Brazilian Indians Gain Right to Live in Isolation

Of the 35 articles of the American Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, three have ...

Jordan Holds Brazil in the Reconstruction of Iraq Fair

The Brazil in the Reconstruction of Iraq fair, which ended Wednesday, September 14,in the ...

Mango Growers from Bahia, Brazil, Find Buyers Overseas

Copefrul, the Brazilian Cooperative of Small Farmers of Fruit from Livramento and Surroundings, in ...

After the Generals the Catholic Bishops Wage War Against Lula

After apparently overcoming military intransigence Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his ...

Brazil’s Industry Leaders Want to Bypass Mercosur and Sign EU Accord

A group of businessmen belonging to Brazil's powerful National Confederation of Industry, CNI, said ...

Abranches’ Sneak Preview

American audiences will soon have the chance to know the work of filmmaker Aluizio ...

Brazil to Fund Research on Hantavirus

Brazil’s Ministry of Health and the National Scientific and Technological Development Council (CNPq) will ...