Brazil and India Would Rather Have No Deal than Bad Deal with US and EU

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim with Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath Ministerial representatives from the G4 group of influential trading players, European Union, United States, Brazil and India, will strive to reach a common position on agriculture, industrial goods and services in the framework of the World Trade Organization negotiations.

These four leading trade powers will meet Wednesday in New Delhi, India, for two days of potentially make-or-break talks to end a deadlock in the Doha Round of global trade negotiations. Japan and Australia are scheduled to join the group in a second stage of talks.

"These talks are timely and important," EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said in Brussels ahead of the talks. "If we fail (at these talks), Doha's prospects for this year will be lost."

The meeting will be attended by Mandelson, Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, US trade representative Susan Schwab and Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim.

"We hope there'll be some movement (at this meeting) but it depends on how far developing countries' aspirations are fulfilled," an Indian government spokesperson said in New Delhi.

WTO is hoping to reach a deal before the end of June when crucial trade negotiating powers granted to the US President George Bush by Congress (Trade Promotion Authority) are set to expire.

If a breakthrough can be achieved by June, a conclusion to the Doha talks – which have been called a once-in-a-generation chance to help bring millions out of poverty – could be reached in about eight months, WTO officials say. Otherwise the Doha round, launched in Doha in 2001 risks years of delay, they said.

An agreement among the world's two biggest trading powers, the US and EU, and two leading developing nations India and Brazil, is seen as crucial to hopes of brokering a compromise among the WTO's 150 members this year.

India and Brazil have emerged as leaders in the developing world's challenge to the wealthy nations to curtail generous farm subsidies as they seek to keep their own agriculture supports.

The official Indian position has been that New Delhi prefers "no deal to a bad deal", particularly if there's no advance in farming subsidies.

The EU and other WTO members have called for Washington to make a new, more radical proposal on cutting farm subsidies while the EU is being pushed for steeper reductions in farm product tariffs.

"We want real, effective reductions in huge farm subsidies by countries like the US which distort world agriculture prices," said the Indian spokesperson adding that "we must have a level playing field so the round's development mandate is fulfilled."

Developing nations are being pressed to open their markets wider to industrial goods and services and the US is seeking fewer farm products on their "protected" list.

But India and other developing nations argue they need their farm tariffs to protect the livelihoods of their huge farming populations. Up to 80% of the workforces in developing nations depend on agriculture.

Mandelson said India, Brazil, the EU and the US need to put solid offers on the table if negotiations are to succeed. "It's the responsibility of the G4 to put the numbers on the table" on reductions in farm support and agriculture and industrial tariffs, he said



You May Also Like

Rio Still Fears More Casualties and Mudslides, After Over 70 Deaths

Brazilian Colonel José Paulo Miranda, an officer in the Rio de Janeiro state Fire ...

Shell Shifts from Algae to Brazilian Sugarcane in Global Biofuel Push

Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s largest energy company and also the biggest ...

Brazil Earmarks Half a Billion Dollars to Defend the Amazon

According to reports by Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paulo, Brazil plans to ...

27% of Brazil’s Youth Do Nothing. They Neither Work Nor Study.

About a quarter of Brazilians in the 15 to 24 age group neither work nor ...

Brazilian Indians Get US$ 2.8 Million for Health Care

Health care will be reinforced for Indians who live in eleven Brazilian states. The ...

Brazil Launches Popular Campaign Against Biopiracy

The development of integrated policies and activities to combat biopiracy is the purpose of ...

Higher Productivity Brings Brazil’s Mining Company Vale Record Production

Brazil's mining company Companhia Vale do Rio Doce has reached record levels of production ...

Brazil’s Agribusiness Ends Year US$ 11 Billion in the Red

The Brazilian agribusiness sector is expected to close out 2005 with a loss of ...

Despite Losing the World Cup Brazil Is Still Number One in Soccer

Despite it bad performance in the recent World Cup in Germany, Brazil continues the ...