Brazil Unmoved by Blair’s Appeal to Rescue Collapsed Doha Talks

British prime minister Tony Blair and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva British Prime Minister Tony Blair told President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a telephone call that he is counting on Brazil's help to "save" the Doha round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks.

According to the Brazilian president's spokesman Marcelo Baumbach, Blair stressed in the 20-minute call that the next 48 hours will be decisive for the negotiations and reinforced the offers presented by the United States and the European Union at the meeting held in Potsdam, Germany last week.

Blair also urged Brazil to reduce its maximum tariffs on industrial imports from 35% to 12.73%. Lula da Silva said that he will continue to favour a less drastic cut on the tariffs, from 35 to 16%.

Disagreement with offers from the U.S. and the EU led the representatives of the other two parties, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and India's Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, to abandon the G4 Summit, aimed at reaching an agreement on the Doha round talks, two days before its deadline.

Baumbach said that Lula insisted, in his conversation with Blair, that the lack of equilibrium between what the round requests and what developed countries actually offered was the main reason for the failure of the talks in Potsdam.

The president took the opportunity to resume his proposal of a meeting relying on the participation of world leaders, so that political decisions were made in favour of the accomplishment of Doha.

President Lula argued that there is nothing left to be discussed regarding the technical aspects, and that, at the current stage of negotiations, only political will to move forward would lead to a final agreement.

"The key is now in the political dialogue and the improvement of offers from wealthier economies," said the spokesman.

Blair's intervention followed claims from United States and the European Union that the trade talks had collapsed because of Brazil's intransigence.

Brazil's Foreign Affairs minister Celso Amorim was quoted in the business daily Valor Economico stating that U.S. and European negotiators at World Trade Organization talks "agreed in advance to create a comfort zone for each other with reduced cuts in agricultural subsidies and less market access."

At the talks in Potsdam, Brazil and India said the United States failed to offer deep enough cuts in the billions of dollars of subsidies it pays annually to American farmers. The EU and the US said Brazil and India had refused to offer new market opportunities for their manufacturing exports.

"I could never make an agreement that betrays the interests of Brazil's industrial sector, a betrayal of Mercosur and a betrayal of the G-20 countries that trusted us," Amorin said.

Mercopress

Tags:

You May Also Like

Brazil Promises to Boost Software Sales by 500%. Some Are Skeptical

Brazil's software sector should rise its exports from US$ 100 million to US$ 500 ...

In Brazil, Police Are The Crook

Death squads and hired killers belong not just to 1980s São Paulo, but to ...

Research in Brazil

French Expert Sees Brazil as World’s Number 6 Investor in R&D

Brazil will, over the next 10 years, be the sixth country in which large ...

In Brazil and Mercosur Majority Don’t Like Bush and 70% Call U.S. Imperialist

In four of Mercosur country members’ capitals (BrasÀ­lia, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago) over 50% ...

Free Trade Starts at Home, Says Brazil

Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, said that the priority for Mercosur representatives ...

Haiti Gets 280 Army and Navy Troops from Brazil

A Brazilian military contingent of 280 troops embarked today to join the United Nations ...

In Brazil, Recovery of Highway Implements Sector Still Tentative

In Brazil, sales of highway implements are showing signs of recovery. In July, there ...

Country Music Is Crying

The death of João Pacífico is a big loss for the country and for ...

Lula’s Cabinet May Change But Not Brazil’s Commitment to South-South Business

Approximation with other emerging countries will remain among the foreign trade policy priorities during ...

Everyone But Indians Invited to Brazil’s Indian Committee

Brazil’s Interministerial Working Group for the Indigenous Policy (GTI) was officially set up on November ...