Jul 29, 2008

Are The WTO Talks Dead?

Not far off unfortunately

This report just in

Finger pointing between the US and other countries like India and Brazil has resulted in the WTO talks coming very close to a breakdown. The deal breakers could be safeguards against import surges, lowering of subsidies for cotton by the US and sectors like automobiles, chemicals, textiles on which the US and EU want zero import duties over time. Talks have halted temporarily. They will resume in the evening as time and patience runs out in the last sessions of the Doha round.“There is no doubt that there are seven countries which are sitting there and we are one of them. I said on Friday that India does not agree with this paper, so there is no doubt in anybody’s mind. I don’t think there is any ambiguity,” said Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath.Susan Schwab, US trade representative, said, "Each of us has to make a contribution. There were 6 out of 7 in the leadership group which represented a very delicate balance because everyone has to stretch, everyone has to make a contribution." Schwab added, "I have noted with time that if you pull one threat it is likely to unwrap. So now we are in a situation where one country has parted with the original agreement and the second country is backtracking on its commitment it made to rest of us.”