Jul 20, 2008

Brazil Prepared To Wait Four Years For WTO Outcome

Posturing continues in the run up to the WTO Ministerial, with Brazil continuing to be particularly vocal

Brazil is willing to wait until 2012 in order to secure a better deal on the negotiating table at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), its Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said Saturday.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, where WTO talks are set to enter a crucial new phase on Monday, he said a failure next week would put back the conclusion of an agreement by another three or four years.
The Geneva meeting will bring together around 30 big WTO players in a bid to salvage the so-called Doha Round of trade liberalisation talks, launched in the Qatari capital in 2001 and which has struggled ever since with developed and developing countries alike refusing to budge on their core interests.
"If we wait, we will obtain a better agreement" than the one currently on offer, said the minister, adding that public opinion was "changing in our favour."
Amorim is the developing world's main representative in the WTO talks and the public face of the G20, the grouping of developing countries co-led by Brazil and India.
He is seen as a hard negotiator committed to seeing wealthy countries cut agricultural subsidies that are barriers to farm imports from Brazil and other nations.
Amorim accused developed countries of demanding too much from other countries. "One cannot snatch the maximum from the weakest and give only the minimum in exchange," he said.