Brazil Calls Geneva’s Global Trade Starting Session Totally Useless

WTO chief, Pascal Lamy Ministerial negotiations on global trade's first day, at this week's meeting in Geneva of the Trade Negotiations Committee, brought conflicting opinions about prospects for an agreement.

While the head of the World Trade Organization. Pascal Lamy, said he was convinced that WTO member states would be able to reach agreements on international trade, Brazil's chief negotiator, Foreign Affairs minister Celso Amorim, described the first day session as "totally useless."

"No surprises, but also no ideas. We're at the same point than before the meeting started," insisted Amorim.

But Lamy referring to the Doha Round of negotiations on international trade which began in 2001, he said that members are "within reach of a major step in our drive to conclude the Round this year" and added that he could think of "no stronger spur for our action than the threats facing the world economy across several fronts, including rises in food prices and energy prices and financial market turbulences."

Amorim accepted maybe it was a meeting that had to take place, "but totally useless as far as I'm concerned, because I did not hear a single new idea, new suggestion. Let's wait for tomorrow."

Lamy on the other hand stressed that "there is widespread recognition that a balanced outcome of the Doha Round could in these circumstances provide a strong push to stimulate economic growth, providing better prospects for development and ensuring a stable and more predictable trading system."

In his opening remarks to the Committee this Monday Lamy said that the aim of this week's negotiations was to establish formal blueprint agreements for trade in agriculture as well as industrial products.

US Trade Representative Susan Schwab was closer to Mr. Lamy than Mr. Amorim.

"Some countries have begun to talk about what we can really achieve, focusing in what can be done and not in what can't be achieved," said Schwab.

Argentina's Foreign Secretary Jorge Taiana said he expects that as of tomorrow Tuesday discussions become "more specific."

"We have a full week's work ahead, but a week where we must correct misbalances in the agriculture and industrial products negotiations," said Taiana.

"It's obvious that the increase in agriculture and food prices are evidence of the negative effects that 60 years of distortions have generated," he underlined.

An estimated 30 delegates from participating countries addressed the informal session of the Committee, with more delegations from the WTO 152 members expected to speak on Tuesday.



  • Show Comments (11)


    I am a Swiss citizen and I just read the article about racism in Switzerland. It says that Black people “experience frequent public humiliation” but I have never witnessed such an event. I do not either feel that it is accurate to say that “Racism based on skin colour today is a widely accepted norm” in Switzerland, notably given that there are explicit laws against racism. Furthermore the reference to a “recent study” is incomplete. I could not find the referenced publication since the link points only to the general website of the Federal Commision against Racism. -cedric
    If the Swiss would start paying off the life insurance policies on the Jews that were murdered in the 1940s, then I might give your arguments some credence. 3 Mar 05
    Ordinarily, I don’t like to start things like this (and my complaint is with the Swiss Banks and Government, not people) but if the banks/government had routed and punished the offending persons concerning the stolen WW2-era accounts rather than simply rectifying a few files, then they might not be in the situation they are in today. This link has a reasonably good summary of it. Sweet freek 04:43, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • João da Silva

    [quote]One of my EX best friend and work colleague, half Swiss and half Brazilian[/quote]

    What you say does not make sense. You said that he is your EX best friend. But he is your partner in the BBC venture. My question: Is he still your friend or just a business partner?

    Did you get the drift of my question?

    About Celso: I used to know a lot of our diplomats years ago.Very polite and capable. This guy is an enigma to me (I did not have the pleasure of meeting him personally). But I don’t think he is dumb.

  • ch.c.

    And to Joao…..
    About Celso :
    Yesssssss a nice guy, but like ALL brazilians being sure you are the best in the world.
    Or said differently : FULL OF HIMSELF….when he certainly has no basis, even statistically based.

    It happens I know more Brazilians than you can think of.
    One of my EX best friend and work colleague, half Swiss and half Brazilian, became one of the sugar baron in your country !!!!!
    How did he do ! Simple…we worked together as brokers for the largest american firm. Then he met here a girl he fell in love.
    They married. It happens her parents were huge land owners in your country. A little land with sugarcane but mostly undeveloped land.
    Then he was in charge to develop further that…..undeveloped land…..into sugarcane fields.
    And he is one of our partner in our BBC farm in Western Bahia !
    Meaning no one can touch or bite us….we not only have HIS name to protect us….just in case….. but also ALL his lawyers !!!

    😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉 😀 😉

  • ch.c.

    To Will Corea and Joao
    Will : funny your “Well yes, but is it FAR MORE important at this time?”

    Of course it is, Just re-read precisely under what conditions America is willing to further reduce their farms subsidizes :

    NAMA stands for……Non-Agricultural Market Access !!!!!!

    But at least until now, these junkies always avoided to negotiate the most important problem…ON PURPOSE !!!
    At the end, ALL emerging nations subsidizes their farmers one way or the other, but they also subsidize MOST
    other industries, while deveioped nations subsidize ONLY their farmers.

    Example : 70 % of the world population has subsidized fuel. Of course NON in developed countries….to my knowledge !!!

    Emerging nations just wish we invest there and create jobs. While they dont invest much in developed countries.
    Cars/trucks are the perfect example.
    And guess what, most of these emerging countries have ALREDY HUGE TRADE SURPLUSES….MOSTLY WITH DEVELOPED NATIONS.
    But….but….for them that is NOT ENOUGH ! They want much much more.

    As I said we should treat them as they treat us :
    – They want cars/trucks only if they are made in their countries…..otherwise IMPORTS have stiff taxes.
    – On that basis we should tell them, for example : we are quite ready to buy your ethanol….if you grow the sugacane fields and
    ethanol plants…IN OUR COUNTRIES WITH YOUR MONEY ….just as you expect us for car plants in your country with our money !!!!!
    Otherwise IMPORTS will have stiff taxes…the same you charge OUR exports !!!

    And please please please dont tell me they dont have money !!!!! Just look at their foreign currencies reserves !!!!

  • Will Correa

    [quote]Industrial goods and financial services represent FAR MORE trades than agriculture.[/quote]
    Well yes, but is it FAR MORE important at this time?
    We have seen a food crisis all over the world, and now that the Doha Round is finally getting the attention it deserves, the US comes with a mere $2 billion farm subsidies cutback? Give me a break! That won’t influence the other $15 billion they already have on the line, and that’s what the issue is about.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]But believe it or not, I knew him somewhat from years ago when he resided here. [/quote]

    I know he resided there and I believe it. Is he a good guy?

  • ch.c.

    “Did you get to say “Hello” to Celso? ”
    No reason to !
    But believe it or not, I knew him somewhat from years ago when he resided here.
    Had a few drinks together and other friends on more than one occasion !!!

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Here I am ![/quote]

    Thank God, you are back.Every blogger in this site was quite concerned about your health (including my good self). Our new, but distinguished blogger Augustus was all upset that you were MIA.

    Did you get to say “Hello” to Celso?

  • ch.c.

    Funny !
    Here I am ! 😀
    My point of view is very simple :
    Brazilians want to talk only about the smallest of the problem : agriculture
    Brazillians dont want to talk about the biggest of the problems : industrial and manufactured goods, financial services

    It happens you want everathing and give nothing in return. Typically Brazilian style.

    Industrial goods and financial services represent FAR MORE trades than agriculture.

    Conclusion : Brazil and its WTO friends are MUCH MORE CLOSED than developed nations.
    2 Simple examples :
    – in my country with a population of 7,5 millions, we have 330 banks. Give or take a little, around
    half of them are FOREIGN banks.
    In Brazil with a population of 190 millions, you dont even accept 20 foreign banks !!!!!!!

    – While you caress your navel for your prowess in car/trucks manufacturing, none of the manufacturers are Brazilians.
    And you charge a stiff import tax for cars made in other countries, to force the manufacturers to build plants in your country. Is this….FREE TRADE ????? iT IS MORE….RESTRICTED TRADE….OR ONE WAY TRADE ONLY….as I said so many times.

    It is like saying to Brazilians : do you want us to buy your ethanol ? No problem…..invest in land and plants in OUR countries and produce as much ethanol as you want….with our blessings, including our subsidizes. But ethanol produced
    in your country should have a similar import tax or trade barriers….than what you impose on foreign made cars !

    Of course, YOU disagree for reciprocal policies and trade.
    Again…typically Brazilian style.

    Ohhhh, last but not least, just look at the Ipod and Iphone. All are produced in Asia. But the country with the world highest retail price is…..BRAZIL !!!! Yesssssss….your retail prices are nearly double of those in my country and others, developed….. or developing.

    The price difference reasons ?

    You hide your cheating, lying and hiding tricks under the UNcommon sense of LUXURY TAX !!!!!
    Right ?

    Thus why is it considered LUXURY when imported and NOT LUXURY when made in Brazil ???????

    Finally stupid question to the idiots : why do Brazil consider lets say a ROLEX more luxurious than a far more expensive car—made in Brazil ? Or a ROLEX more luxurious than a Brl 10 millions MANSAO ?????

    Only cheaters and liars….have UNcommon sense. And Brazilians excel at this !!!!

  • ..

    [quote]I’m surprised we haven’t heard from ch.c yet..[/quote]

    No need to be surprised nor upset. He was the one who wrote this article posting his picture along with it. 😉

  • Will Correa

    I’m surprised we haven’t heard from ch.c yet.. He’s usually the first one to slander Brazilians, especially regarding his sweet Switzerland!

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