Jul 6, 2008

WTO: More Bad News

Canadian business groups are calling on their PM to be bold (fat chance of that)

A powerful Canadian business group wants Prime Minister Stephen Harper to change his stance on agricultural trade to help achieve a breakthrough in the Doha Round of world trade talks.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce on Friday published a letter it sent to Harper this week that said the Conservative government's defense of protectionist measures for certain farm sectors is "untenable" and a possible barrier to global economic growth and poverty reduction.
"The time has come for the government to empower our officials with greater flexibility to negotiate," said the letter, signed by Perrin Beatty, president of the Chamber.
"The Canadian Chamber of Commerce ... urges you and your government to sign on to this important modalities agreement."

And Germany's Economy Minister is sounding like Sarkozy.

Developing nations must open their markets to more foreign goods and services before Germany signs off on a World Trade Organisation agreement lowering barriers to commerce, German economy minister Michael Glos said.
"There are very serious questions remaining whose solution depends on the political will of all participants to find a compromise," he said in a statement on Saturday after meeting with WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy in Berlin.