Through The Static

July 29, 2008

Farm row stalls WTO talks

Filed under: Uncategorized — disciplepete @ 12:08 am

Free trade drama at the World Trade Organization talks in Geneva. Al Jazeera:

Talks on a deal to liberalise world trade appear on the brink of collapse after more than a week of often tense meetings as the US blamed China and India for holding up a deal…

…Tensions peaked late on Monday and early into Tuesday as negotiators from seven key trading nations dug in their heels over the details of a seldom-used “special safeguard mechanism” which allows poor nations to protect their farmers against any surges of imports or price falls in agricultural products such as rice…

.. Kamal Nath, India’s commerce minister, rejected suggestions he was deliberately holding up the talks.

 “Who’s holding up this round I think are the large developed countries … who are looking for commercial interests and enhancing prosperity rather than looking for content which reduces poverty,” he said…

…Raj Petal, a trade analyst, told Al Jazeera that “the European Union and the United States have kind of fixed the rules of the game”.

“The EU and the US are allowed to support their agriculture to the tune of billions of dollars a year … but developing countries are not allowed to have similar programmes in place. It’s still a very asymmetrical game.

Talks to rescue the trade deal will continue on Tuesday with negotiators trying to avert a collapse, ministers said.





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