France responsible for Doha round breakdown: US

28-07-2006 | |

A US trade representative has indirectly blamed France for the breakdown of WTO global trade talks earlier this week.

When asked about the possibility of reviving the talks, Susan Schwab said, “Perhaps we should await the French election results,” echoing other US politicians who had said France had blocked an agreement.

The Doha Development Agenda negotiations were suspended because gaps between key players remain too wide.

Heads of delegations, speaking in an informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee on 24 July, agreed with WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy that this will be a setback for all members.

“The developed countries subsidise their agriculture and have agriculture custom tariffs superior to those for other products, a system which penalises above all less-developed countries,” Lamy said.

Negotiations collapsed as the US pressed for lower tariffs on agricultural imports, while the EU, Japan and Australia insisted that American farm subsidies must first be cut.