Brazil and G20 Vow to Stand Ground Against US’s and EU’s Farm Subsidies

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim Developing countries are vowing to stand their ground on key principles in deadlocked world trade talks, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said after meeting counterparts in Geneva.

"We all know that we are in a negotiating phase but we don't want to sacrifice basic positions just for a speedy result," he said a week before a meeting of four key WTO nations in Potsdam, Germany.

Monday's, June 11, encounter at the World Trade Organization in Geneva involved about 100 representatives from the G20 group of developing and emerging nations in the WTO, as well as members of other developing nation groups.

The groups reiterated in a statement that "agriculture lies at the center of the Doha Development Agreement," which launched the global trade negotiations in the Qatari capital in 2001.

The meeting of ministers from Brazil, the European Union, India and the United States in Germany next week is due to make another attempt to unlock the floundering five year-old negotiations.

Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath, a key ally of Amorim's, underlined that the talks were aimed primarily at using trade to help poor countries.

"We are united in our resolve to attain the goals of this development round," Nath told journalists.

"The content of this round is more important than the timeline. We believe that this is a historic opportunity to correct the structural flaws in agriculture trade," he added.

Developing countries and wealthy nations are largely at loggerheads over the degree of state support for agricultural markets along with the level of protection against imports, primarily in the EU and the United States.

Rich nations meanwhile are looking for more concessions from developing nations on access to their markets for industrial goods and services.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned shortly after he won election last month that France would veto negotiations at the WTO if French farming interests were threatened.

Mercopress

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