Doha Failure Would Hit Developing Countries Hardest

The WTO Director-General reiterates the need to restart Doha Round talks, get past agricultural issues.

Speaking Tuesday to the World Trade Organization Trade Negotiations Committee, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy says that if the Doha Round fails to create a rebalanced trading system, developing countries would be hurt the most. This probably explains why developing countries have been the most vocal proponents of resumed negotiations, Lamy says.

In his address and another speech to the General Council, Lamy continued to press the importance of Aid for Trade, an effort to support infrastructure needed for developing countries to take part in the global market.

Lamy also made specific reference to the sticking point in the area of agriculture, which he says "holds the key to unlocking the rest of the agenda." Until positions change on this issue, he says, the discussions will remain deadlocked.

Time is running out for parties to see eye to eye, Lamy says. "The space to move is between November and springtime, which appears to be the latest time to get the breakthrough we need."

Lamy will be in Washington later this month.

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