WTO faces moment of truth
Tensions rose at the ministerial meeting yesterday of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the next few hours are expected to be decisive as to whether the Doha Round of trade talks will survive.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Ministers arrived in Geneva four days ago in response to a summons from the general director of the WTO, Pascal Lamy, who admits that the process is at a delicate phase. He said the next 24 hours will be decisive.
The ministers at the mini summit publicly stated that they were unable to reach an agreement after 9 days of high level meetings at the WTO.
The meeting aimed at saving a new World Trade Organization's tariff agreement has failed to achieve agreement between the United States, China and India. The stumbling block was agricultura products.
The proposal from the EU is similar to the one presented in 2008 in the OMC, extending to 10 years the time period for the reduction of the tariff from 176 to 95 euros per ton.
Europe could make an intial reduction on its tariffs on bananas by 28 euros per ton, reducing it to 114 euros per ton by 2016. The concession was made by the head of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy, a Frenchman, as part of an effort to revive the moribund Doha Round of trade talks in Brussels last weekend.
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